Gary passed away 7/26/2015 at home, as was his wish. He was not in pain and his family was with him. Gary was responsive until the last day and was visited by many family and friends. Funeral arrangements, still pending, will be handled by Days Funeral Home, Randolph, VT. Their website is www.dayfuneral.com
Brothers visited Gary in May 2015: Slug Fest 2015
All honor to his name!
Below is the report (long) report from Bob “Ruff” Hutnick ’71 from the wake and funeral and Ruff’s eulogy.
Recap of Gary “Slug” Wood’s wake and/or funeral on July 30/31, 2015, in Randolph/Bethel, Vermont.
Cast of Characters
Bob “FUBAR” Barnes ‘71
Ann “Little Titty” Banghart & Jim “Munger” Banghart ‘69
Bob “Beo” Bedard ’75
Jack “Titty” Belletete ‘70
Jim “Cramble Ramble” Campbell ‘70
Greg “Flip” Chilson ‘75
Mary Worchocki-Crowe & Billy “The Kid” Crowe ‘71
Larry “Grizzle” Frey ’71
John “Chuck AKA Fingers” Golden ’71
Bob “Ruff” Hutnick’71
Alfonse “Fonse” Lubrano ’71
Pam “Sagette” & Jim “Twinkie” Manocchi ‘75
Larre “Gremme” Nelson ‘69
John “Leroy” Pfaff ‘71
Tom “Big Joe” Regan ‘73
Joe Brown & Patty “Sweetheart” Rist ‘71
Barbara “Molly Shannon” Wilson & Bill “Turk” Wurst ‘71
Joann Samalionis Wood ’71
Guest of Honor: Gary Duncan “Slug” Wood ’71
Already in the Chapter Eternal: George “Earth” Wurm ’71
Counting Sluggo and Eartho, there were 18 brothers of Sigma Chi Fraternity, Delta Psi Chapter, one Sweetheart and her husband, and four wives, present for Slug’s wake and/or funeral on July 30/31, 2015, in Randolph/Bethel, Vermont.
Gary Duncan Wood – All Honor to His Name.
Slugfest III, the wake and funeral, is now in the books. Very proud of every Sigma Chi who took the time to visit Sluggo or talk to him on the phone or email/Facebook him in the past 16 months after he collapsed in his home and was taken to the hospital, and was told that he had a blood cancer called Multiple Myeloma, which led to the paralysis cancer in his back. Sam and the family mentioned several times, including from the church altar during the funeral service, how much our Sigma Chi love and support meant to Joann and Sluggo and the entire family during this trying time. Joann especially lauded the group that participated in Slugfest I in October 2014, where several Sigma Chi brothers and their wives did a lot of chores for Sam and Slug, including hanging curtains for them, as they prepared for the coming winter in Vermont. We’ve heard about Slugfests I and II. This is about Slugfest III. Enjoy.
Slugfest III began a few weeks ago when Joann let us know that the cancer had spread to Slug’s bloodstream and that he had opted against anymore hospital time and chemo/radiation as it would only temporarily postpone the inevitable and take him away from home and into a sterile hospital. Slug and Sam chose hospice and were very appreciative of their efforts, Joann remarking so several times. So, with “the die being cast,” I wrote up the White Rose Ceremony for Brother Wood and sent it out to you soon after Slug’s passing on the morning of July 27. When Joann got back to me that the wake would be Thursday night in Randolph, VT, coincidentally at the “Day’s Funeral Home (my wife’s maiden name is “Day”), with the funeral Friday morning at 11 a.m.at the Bethel United Church in Bethel, VT, the emails started flying.
My plan was to drive up from Virginia and I noted that “everyone was ‘on the way.’” That’s what I told Jeff Cooper on the way to Snag’s funeral in 2001. I drove Wednesday night to Chester, PA, to Glen Rock, NJ, home of Ding’s “younger brother,” Herb, termed “younger by Ding’s use of the “Marble Theory.” I ass-u-me everyone knows the “On your head” joke but if not . . . here it is by one gentleman on the Internet and first given by Grizzle to the brothers in circa 1967 as a pledge to Delta Psi:
“A man who dies and goes to hell, where he is given three choices of how to spend eternity. In room one, it’s the classic version, the evil-doers being engulfed by fire and brimstone. In room two, people are being devoured by wild beasts. In room three, people are standing around in waist-deep, uh, excrement, drinking coffee. The man chooses option three. He wanders over to a big coffee urn, gets himself a cup of coffee, takes a sip and is feeling pretty good about his decision. And then there is an announcement over a loudspeaker: “Attention! Coffee break is over! Back on your heads!””
Anywho, Herb told me to tell everyone this “Slug story”: In 1968/69, at the first house meeting attended by Herb and Al, according to Herb, Slug stood up and gave his “House Manager Report.” Slug said that the last work session didn’t go well and that there was “shit everywhere.” He continued, “I don’t mind the shit. I don’t care if it’s up to my waist . . . “ At which time, Ding says, “until they announce the coffee break is over!” The whole room erupted with laughter much to the chagrin of the “mad as hell” Sluggo. Yet, he didn’t kill Dingus . . .
Back to Slug’s funeral . . . OK, so then we learned that Crambell was flying into Albany on Thursday and so . . . we asked Crambell if he would like to ride with Leroy and me. He said, “Great.” When I heard Chuck Golden was taking the train to Vermont for the funeral from NYC, but wouldn’t arrive until 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, thereby missing the wake, I lamented to Chuck that he SHOULD have taken the train to Herb’s house and that Leroy could take him to Vermont. Chuck replied that he hadn’t bought his tickets and said that sounded great. And so after a 4.5 hour trip to Herb’s on Wednesday night and dinner with Herb & Sue, we prepared for our Thursday departure and awaited Leroy’s car. When Leroy arrived, he announced that his car breaks were squeaking and that we should take MY car! Well, we headed for Albany to pick Crambell up at Albany airport. By 11:45 a.m., the four of us were heading down Route 7 towards White River Junction, VT, where we were all staying overnight. Roadtrip!
Road trips are the best – even when the circumstances (in this case a brother’s funeral) are dire. It is a time to laugh, to share, to cry, to laugh some more, to tell old stories, to fill gaps where our memory fails, to catch up with each other on our lives and the lives of our parents, siblings, friends, whomever. Yes, we talked about all of these things including the jokes and some “old stories.” The 2.5 hour ride to VT flew by and before long we pulled in the Super 8 and secured our room, “shat, showered, and shaved” with the bathroom door open “just like the old days” at 58 Pinewoods Avenue upstairs bathroom (MERCY FLUSH, PLEASE!). And before long we were on our way to Randolph, VT, for the wake. No, not to the funeral home. That was a 6 p.m. To the BAR in Randolph – The “One Main Bar & Grill.” Preceding “the four amigos” there were Pam & Jim Manocchi, Grizzle, Flipster, Patty Rist and Joe Brown. Barbara and Turk joined us later. After some tasty munchies and two Guinness cans of beer for me (more about this later) served by our young waitress, Jodie (not Harter) who ran tables 40 hours a week and “taught pre-school for 3 year olds for another 40 hours a week (she was not sure which job’s “customers” were more difficult), we drove over to the Day’s Funeral Home where temperatures hit near 90 inside. No, it wasn’t a “dry” 90! LOL. Pastor Tom of the Bethel United Church was moonlighting at Sluggo’s wake and he introduced himself to us as we entered. He made us feel welcomed and said he was looking forward to our White Cross Ceremony the next day! We stood on the receiving line and expressed our condolences to Slug’s two children, Matthew and Samantha, and then hugged and cried with Sam AKA Joann at the foot of Slug’s closed casket. Sam Sr. (AKA Joann) did great both days. She attributed it to Sluggo’s courage and light-heartedness regardless of the circumstances. Afterwards, we milled around the funeral home and outside where it was cooler. We met Sluggo’s brothers: Dennis, Brian, and Craig. And his sister Joan. Slug’s grandchildren, Sylvia and Bill, were running around with other young cousins under the ages of 5 or so which lent a bit of levity to the setting. Pictures of Slug abounded on posters and Sam gave us as much time as she could under the circumstances. We understood. We adjourned at 8 p.m. & headed back to the “One Main Tap” where Ruff was told they were now out of ALL Guinness! We stayed for a drink BUT Ruff took his “driver’s exemption” and had water. Flip had headed back to MA by this time (he had driven 3 hours just for the wake) and Grizz left after his seltzer to return to his brother’s in Burlington. He’d return the next day for the funeral. At 9 p.m., the crew of 8 (Married 3 + 1, er, Cram, Leroy, Ruff & Chuck) and Barb & Turk (who were late to the bar prior to the wake and then 2nd bar; Barb, you can’t use “Turk wanted sex” BOTH times as an excuse!) and Patty & Joe, returned to White River Junction (Barrel Something?) for a nightcap. It was a karaoke bar but the stout was good, laughter and camaraderie great, food/munchies very good, and stout good (or did I say that already?) Bedtime was 11:45 p.m.
The next morning I got up at 6 a.m. for my “first breakfast” and then went into the hotel’s computer room to pound out a shorter Sluggo eulogy than I sent to all of you. I had told the “boys” that I was expecting God to have a “small miracle” for us (similar to the one He did at Snag’s funeral when the heavens opened on a gray, rainy day and the sun came out just as we did the White Rose Ceremony!) But the day was ALREADY beautiful. Whatever. We left the hotel at 8:30 a.m. for breakfast at the “Four Aces.” It was a place our 2nd Randolph waitress had told us we MUST go to. We did and the hash was great (according to Leroy & Cram). I had kielbasa for my “second breakfast. Jamie was very efficient. Next, we headed to Bethel and parked across the street from the church. Sluggo had already arrived. Pastor Tom was there and we went through logistics for the White Rose Ceremony. Tom said he had secured for us “front row seats” on the left side, opposite Joann and her family. Great “sicsch.” AKA “po-si-tion.” As we stood outside awaiting our seating, the Delta Psi Sigs began arriving. Many of us had not seen some others in 40 or so years! Barb and Turk FINALLY showed up with the two-dozen white roses (Barb once again claiming, ‘You know, Bill, he’s an animal’ or something to that effect as she explained why they were late, again.) Pastor Tom asked us if we would do a fraternity song in the church. Which one? The “Souss Family?” Not sure if that was appropriate. Fortunately, he reconsidered and said that we should do it at the reception. Whew. We took our places inside – I think the count was 16 brothers and 5 wives. Beo didn’t bring a girlfriend with her one-year old to this funeral! Fonse forgot his Sigma Chi pin but providentially I had a “spare” in my car and got it to Fonse in the nick of time. Rookie! Didn’t gremme tell him he was naked when they drove up from MA/RI?
The family soon proceeded into the church and the service began with Pastor Tom on the raised altar. It was a happy/upbeat service but, of course, bittersweet. We sang a song or three, listened to scripture, a reading and gospel, and Pastor Tom’s homily. He then began the eulogies, the first being Slug’s brother, Dennis. It was very light-hearted as he talked of Slug and him growing up (“free range children” and becoming fast, life-long friends and fellow deer hunters for the last 50 years or so. They eventually got a “deer cabin” in the mountains and would take 2 weeks off every November to go there with “the boys” and hunt. Slug was the steward (hey, he was an assistant at Delta Psi!) Dennis said that one time, Slug made all the hunters get up at 2 a.m. to watch a meteor shower. Though they all protested at the time, they all now were glad that they saw it and how beautiful it was. Joann’s niece went next (I forget her name). She delivered a eulogy written by Slug’s daughter, Samantha. Good thing she delivered it. I don’t think Samantha Jr. could have gotten through it. In the eulogy, Samantha acknowledged the good times with her Dad and sometimes not so good times that daughters and sons have with their parents. She said after her Dad died, she went running and looked for a “sign” [from God] about her father or from her father. She noticed the sun, the blue sky, the beautiful green trees, bees, and insects as she ran but saw no “sign.” Finally she realized that all these things of nature WERE “THE” SIGN. Dad (Sluggo) loved nature and she was running all this time and didn’t “SEE” it. So THAT was THE “sign” that I was looking for: a beautiful sun-drenched, Vermont July day, in the hills of Vermont, with the blue sky & green trees. Good one. Craig Wood, another Slug brother, gave the last “family” eulogy followed by our own John” Leroy – Mr. House Corp. President” – Pfaff. I was glad one of our Sigma Chi group got up and Leroy did a great job. He called the great attitude of Slug and his courage in the face of his “predicament” “the Grace of God.” Pastor Tom finished up confirming that yes indeed, it was the grace of God present in Gary’s fight with cancer. We said the Lord’s Prayer, sang a song, and Pastor Tom told us to go outside on August 11th and look skyward because there was going to be a meteor shower that night but unlike that meteor shower many moons ago that Slug’s brother Dennis recalled, Gary would be in this meteor shower! He then called the Delta Psi Sigma Chi’s to “assume the position” and we took out place in the front of the church, each of us taking a white rose.
We had five White Rose Ceremony speakers and they went to the raised altar with the rest of our brothers off to the side. Brother Crambell, who arranged for Slugfest I, bought lunch and came to Slugfest II, and who arranged a phone list of brothers to call Sluggo, started us off with a brief introduction. I then did the Sigma Chi eulogy, though I kept it mercifully short (I can send you the long version if you missed it!). I “ad libbed” a bit from my prepared remarks and told Samantha about how I too looked for “signs” when someone close to me died and that I was glad that the sign for Slug was the beautiful day we had along with all the nature surrounding it. I also told the assembled family and friends about Jim Board’s suggestion that we put a plaque near one of the trees that Sluggo planted at 58 Pinewoods at an alumni-undergrad work session 3 years or so ago. Great idea, Dartboard! House Corp President Pfaff said he would “make it so. After my brief written eulogy, Grizz took over followed by Leroy and Turk. I thought the four of them did a great job especially under the circumstances. Hope Sluggo thought it was nice! I’m sure he did . . . As we exited the church and formed a line outside where Slug would be carried through minutes afterward, we placed our white roses on the casket of our beloved brother, Gary “Slug” Wood. We adjourned to the reception as only the immediate family went with the hearse to Slug’s final resting place. The hearse was led by Slug’s brother Dennis, on Slug’s Harley Davidson motorcycle. How cool!
We ate and had ice tea at the reception and as we had to leave by 1:45 p.m.in order for Crambell to catch his 6 p.m. flight out of Albany, we took to the stage for our “Souss Family” song. Forming a line, I announced that for the “first time in the world and the second time on this stage,” (ala Hobie) the Sigma Chi’s would now like to sing a beer drinking song for our dearly departed brother, Gary Wood. Thought it went over well since we had some “big voices” in the group (Gremme, Grizz, and Turk!) who carried the rest of us. Next, we had Joann AKA Sam and Patty Rist join us on the stage for “The Sweetheart of Sigma Chi.” Linking arms and swaying away, we belted it out to the “appreciative” audience. I think I got to stand next to Big Joe. We mingled some more and talked about how Munger and Jack (separate cars) had raced up to see Sluggo on Sunday right before he died that night. Patty Rist and Joe Brown also got up to see him on Sunday, I believe. Quite cool. Joann’s attitude was to let it all happen, chaotic or not. Mary Worchocki-Crowe and Bill Crowe were caught exiting but I was able to slip him the grip one last time. She looked the “coolest” of us all and I remarked that I would wear an outfit like hers “next time” if I have a Bruce/Kaitlin Jenner type experience. We had four wives there: Mary W-Crowe, Barbara Wurst, Ann Banghart, and Pam Manocchi. It definitely added some class to us. Five, with our Sweetheart, Patty Rist. Final hugs, kisses, “the grip,” more hugs, kisses, a few tears, and we began to take our leave of the reception, after changing into shorts and Sigma Chi polo shirt for the 10-hour ride back to Virginia.
I thought things went well. I am ALWAYS amazed how really awesome our group of brothers is. Who else has so many friends and brothers at our age? Many of us will see each other very soon – alumni work sessions are only 3 weeks away. Many others will see each other in October at Homecoming, October 2-4, 2015. I think Fonse is making it back for the first time in 40 years. It should be great. I’ll have to get something out about Homecoming next week! Not another email, Ruff! AHHHHH.
These are the Wood family emails if you’d like to email any of them.
Dennis Wood <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Beverly Wood <email@example.com>, Debbie Wood <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Samantha <email@example.com>, Matthew <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com,
Dennis was Slug’s brother. Beverly and Debbie are married to Slug’s other two brothers, Brian and Craig. Samantha & Matthew are Slug’s children. Joann’s email address is included. Give her a call/email in a week, month, year, etc., to let her know that you are still thinking of her and Sluggo. Yes, people who “lose” loved ones actually LOVE talking about them and by doing so, you show compassion, love, caring for/to Joann and your love for the “Big Guy” too – Sluggo.
Joann’s present address is: Address: 256 Woodland Road, Bethel, VT
Landline at house: 802-234-9877; Joann’s Cell 802-369-9148 (old address: 1141 Lillieville Brook Road, Bethel, VT 05032-9597); Home number is 802-234-5073. I think she may move back to Lillieville in the “near future” but have no clue when that would be. I will inform everyone IF and when she does move.
And so we left the reception about 1:30 p.m. and made Albany about 4:15 p.m. The ride was again filled with laughter, needling, joking, and bitter-sweetness. Leroy drove. We dropped Crambell off at the airport for his 6 p.m. flight and continued southward to Herb’s where Leroy got into his car and took off for Chester. Chuck drove to Herb’s and took the train from Glen Rock Back to Brooklyn. I got a slice of pizza in Glen Rock, burning the roof of my mouth, and headed for Virginia. I pulled into my driveway at 12 midnight, 10 ½ hours after we left Bethel. I listened to the Yankees beat the White Sox 13-6 so it was a good ride and more importantly, the game kept me alert. 1200 miles in three days but it was worth the trip.
It was a good three days and friendships were renewed and we provided comfort to the Wood family in their time of loss. But as I said before, Sluggo has simply “gone ahead.” The next morning, I took out a book that my brother used to read before his death to brain cancer in 2010. My sister-in-law thought I should get his book when he died. It’s a book of daily readings, one for each day of the year. The daily reading that I read yesterday was, in part, as follows:
Sin, sorrow and suffering are, and it is not for us to say that God has made a mistake in allowing them. Sorrow removes a great deal of a person’s shallowness, but it does not always make a person better. Suffering either gives me to myself or it destroys me. You cannot find or receive yourself through success, because you will lose your head over pride. And you cannot receive yourself through the monotony of daily life, because you give into complaining. The only way to find yourself is in the fires of sorrow. Why it should be this way is immaterial. The fact is that it is true in the Scriptures and human experience. You can always recognize who has been through the fires of sorrow and have received himself, and you know you can go to him in your moment of trouble and find that he has plenty of time for you. But if a person has not been through the fires of sorrow, he is apt to be contemptuous , having no respect or time for you, only turning away. If you will receive yourself in the fires of sorrow, God will make you nourishment for other people.” Oswald Chambers, “The Utmost for His Highest.”
Our dearly departed Gary Duncan Wood went through those trials of sorrow and suffering and became for us “living waters” who refreshed us when we visited him or called him on the phone. He was an inspiration for us all. As I said, quoting Tom “Hobie” Hey ’72, in my eulogy for Sluggo at the Bethel United Church, Sluggo had “an unwavering positive attitude and indomitable spirit” that affected everyone who came in contact with him these last 16 months of his life. We are all better people for having known Sluggo and for having conversed with him. Our assignment is to take his spirit with us and to affect others with whom we are placed in contact. Robert Orr once said that those that die live afterwards, in those whom they have touched. That is Sluggos greatest legacy. His spirit lives on in his children, grandchildren, family, friends, and his brothers of Delta Psi. “Well done, my good and faithful servant, well done.” (MT 25:23). Yes, the White Cross was REALLY shining those two days in Bethel, VT. Let’s keep it shining gentlemen. May you all have a blessed summer and hope to see most of you in the fall at Homecoming.
In Hoc Signo Vinces. And I’m proud to be a Sigma Chi and proud to have been a brother of Gary Duncan Wood. All honor to his name.
Postscript: Joann AKA Sam sent this to me yesterday, August 1.
“Hey Ruff, I’m doing okay. Everyone headed out of town by noon today, and I packed myself a lunch and headed to our home in Lillieville – mowed lawns, pulled weeds, deadheaded the flowers, and had a picnic lunch under one of Gary’s apple trees. I’ll write more later, (when I can write without crying) . . . It’s been a surreal experience, and I’m just keeping my feet under me and taking things slow and easy. Off to bed! Love, Sam”
Sigma Chi White Rose Prayer
Leader: Brothers in Sigma Chi. We are taking this moment to pay our
tribute of love and respect for the memory of our beloved Brother who
has passed into the Chapter Eternal since we last met. The following
tribute is adapted from the public service available to all Brothers. The Delta Psi Alumni Chapter is willing to perform such a service
when one of our members is called to the Chapter Eternal roll.
Following the reading of the deceased brother’s name, please respond with
the familiar response, “All honor to his name”.
Gary Duncan Wood was born in Bethel, Vermont, on January 10, 1949, to Barbara and Newell Wood. He went to high school in Bethel and continued his education at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. He was inducted into Delta Psi Chapter of the Sigma Chi Fraternity on April 20, 1968. He served as House Manager and Steward before moving into an apartment at 579 Congress with Billy “The Kid” Crowe and Bob “FUBAR” Barnes, if memory serves me correctly. My recollections of Slug at the house were many. Here are a few that stand out.
Slug had a nickname for me, Ruff, and it was “Little Buddy.” I guess he looked at me like the Captain looked at Gilligan in the ‘70s television show “Gilligan’s Island.” I remember one cocktail party where we standing around and talking of sports or girls when Sluggo interjected, “Speaking of race cars . . .” At that point, I turned to Sluggo and said, “Slug, we’re not talking of race cars, never have and never will.” Then there was the time during one of our more hotly contested Frisbee games we played behind the house with the sidewalk “separating” the teams (unless you crossed the sidewalk to steal a pass). Anyway, Sluggo took a pass on the front line and was able to hit Craig Harting with the Frisbee, which scored a point. Craig took exception to the throw and charged at Slug. Though outweighed and out muscled by Slug 2 to 1, it didn’t stop Craig from throwing a punch to Sluggo’s head. He missed and Sluggo got him into a headlock and held him until Craig calmed down. Anyone else would have pummeled Craig but not “the gentle giant,” Gary Wood. As House Manager, Sluggo had to put up with a lot, including me. One weekend, he woke me up at 9 a.m. for the work session that began at 9 a.m. I came down at 10 a.m., missing half of the work session, I explained to Slug that the reason I was “late” was that I had to take a shower first! Though steam came out of both of his ears, Sluggo remained calm. The next week, Sluggo woke me at 8 a.m. for my shower preceding work session. I told him that I was skipping my shower this week and would be down at 9 a.m. Again, he held his temper and didn’t kill me. And so it went. Always the gentleman, rarely showing any temper at all. He graduated with a degree in Civil Engineering in 1971 and then moved back to Bethel where he joined his father and his brother in Valley Motors.
He met Joann in 1970 while at RPI, through his lifelong friend and Sigma Chi Sweetheart, Pat Rist. Gary and Joann were married in October 1972. Pat would eventually marry Joe Brown and the four of them would spend many happy years of being best friends forever (BFF). During the next 40 years, they went camping together and made frequent trips to each other’s house. Joann and “Slug,” as he was known to his Sigma Chi Brothers, lived in Bethel their whole lives and had two children, both who became doctors. Their son Matthew married Alison and gave birth to Sylvia, and Samantha, who married Bill, and gave birth recently to William.
Gary was an active alumni and attended Delta Psi reunions in 1988, 1990, 1994, 2000, 2010, 2011, and the Dedication Ceremonies of the new Pomeroy Chapter House in 2013. He attended several work sessions, driving either his prized canary yellow Corvette or his motorcycle to Troy from his home. He camped out back of the Fraternity house for work sessions but came inside for his last work session in 2013 to sleep in the Housing Director’s Room, at the invitation of Ruff, who was already there. The second night, Ruff moved into a hotel and Slug had the room to himself along with his own personal porch. At one infamous house meeting after working all day during work session, poor Sluggo was so tired by the work he did and the talking at the meeting, that he fell asleep and fell backwards, right through the open door of the downstairs party room and into the back yard. Fortunately, the door was open to let cool air into the ritual meeting so Sluggo wasn’t hurt at all! But I do think his face was a little red due to his embarrassment!
Sluggo also attended various Sigma Chi Golf Outings and survived the infamous Ledges “Bloody Mary Doubles” Golf Tournament where the substitute bartenderess put two double shots of vodka into every Bloody Mary that already contained two shots! Even Jim Manocchi, drinking supposed “Virgin Mary’s” got drunk! Anyway, when golf resumed, Ruff almost drove off a ledge killing both Slug and Ruff. Gary took over driving the golf cart and disaster was diverted. Ruff has since lost his Virginia Golf Cart Driving License along with his New Hampshire one that he lost that day.
Sluggo was always the gentleman. He loved life and loved his Sigma Chi brothers. He roomed with Alfonse Lubrano in the house one year and had Schroeder as his big brother. Did Schroeder have a first name? Only kidding. His name was John. Jean and I visited Joann AKA Sam and Slug on August 5-6, 2006, at their house in Lillieville. Talk about being in the country! Dirt road, no streetlights, no neighbors! But they loved their place AND the seclusion it provided. I think that Joann AKA Sam may move back to “their” house in Lillieville eventually. Besides their prize vegetable garden, which we were able to partake of, they also had a lot of flowers growing around the house. Slug took me “over the mountain” to his little, nine-hole White River Golf Course” which we played. Always a gentleman, he let me beat him.
When our pastor died a few years back, our Bishop gave his homily. He began it by saying that Father Brown has not “gone away” but “gone ahead.” I like to think that of both Sluggo and Earth. Yes, we miss both of them and mourn their passing. It is especially painful for Joann and Slug’s children, Samantha and Matthew. You usually only get two parents in life so it is always “ruff” when one of them “goes ahead.” Please keep Joann and her children in your prayers and drop her a line from time to time. As Sigma Chi’s, this is what we do. And if you’re ever in Bethel or Lillieville, stop by and see her and talk about the “big guy” and what he meant to you. Sluggo wasn’t the first to “go ahead” and he won’t be the last, but as Hobie so eloquently put it, he had an “unwavering positive attitude and indomitable spirit” when facing the dark waters of death. “Well done, my good and faithful servant. Well done.” MT 25:23
Gary Duncan Wood
Response by All: All honor to his name
Please bow your heads for a prayer. The response at the end of the prayer
is “So mote it be”.
Leader: Dear heavenly father.
We recognize the passing of Brother Gary Duncan Wood from our circle to
the Chapter Eternal; and yet in our hearts is the confidence that his
living spirit hovers near. To his memory, we would offer our homage
for his qualities of heart and mind and in Slug’s case, his strength. We have known
Him as a friend and as a brother among us, a man of character; we have known him as loyal and devoted to the high ideals of The White Cross which we wear.
In this reverent moment the thought is dominant that life and true
friendships are indestructible. Because of the spirit in man, death can
not have the victory. That which we call death is but the gateway to the
life immortal; for the life of the spirit does not die.
Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, with Whom do live the spirits of just
men made perfect, we do thank Thee for Brother Gary Duncan Wood, who, having been found worthy, has eternal life with Thee. Grant we beseech Thee that we may learn worthily to wear The White Cross, that through Thy grace, that these words may bring forth in us the fruit of good living, for the exaltation of our
Brotherhood, and to the honor and glory of Thy Name. Amen.
Response by All: So mote it be.
The Complete White Rose Ceremony is found on the Sigma Chi Website at