Charles Fox Wood

Friday, 05 March 2021 18:57

Charles Fox Wood Featured

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Charles Fox Wood, III died at Spiro, Oklahoma on Thursday, March 4, 2021. He was born in St. Anthony Hospital in Oklahoma City on July 20, 1920. 

His parents were Charles Fox Wood and Elsie Burton Wood. He grew up in Oklahoma City and graduated from Wilson Grade School, Harding Junior High, and Classen High School.  In the fall of 1938 he enrolled in the University of Oklahoma. 

At OU he was a member of Phi Gamma Delta social fraternity, Scabbard and Blade honorary military fraternity, and the varsity polo squad- good horseman, poor ball striker. He completed four years as an ROTC cadet in horse-drawn field artillery. He was promoted to cadet lieutenant colonel his senior year.  In June 1942 he received a BS degree in geology and a commission as a 2nd Lt. In the U.S. Army. He immediately embarked on four years’ service as a field artillery officer in WW II.

Fox was a forward and aerial observer in Battery C, 906th FA Battalion, 81st Infantry Division. He participated in the Palau Islands operation in the Pacific and was awarded the Air Medal for combat flights in that engagement.  The 81st Division was scheduled to be one of the assault divisions in the initial invasion of the Japanese homeland. As an artillery forward observer, Fox would have gone ashore with the first wave of infantry. It was generally conceded that casualties among that group would be catastrophic. 

Then "the bombs" were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the war was over. Fox was always grateful to President Truman for this action. A good Democrat saved the life of a good Republican.

     At the end of hostilities, the 81st Division occupied Aomori, the northernmost prefecture on the Japanese island of Honshu. When his division was being deactivated, Fox joined the 11th Airborne Division and completed jump school as a qualified parachutist. 

October 6, 1947 was the highlight of Fox's life. ·on that day he married the most brilliant, beautiful, and talented woman in all the world, Regna Lee Simpson. Their wonderful marriage endured for more than sixty years until her death in 2008.

  After working several years as a geologist for Stanolind Oil & Gas, Fox decided to follow a lifelong dream and become a rancher. He was a graduate student for one year at OSU (then Okla. A&M College). In 1950 Regna and Fox moved to Poteau in LeFlore County. Several years later, through the generosity of Regna's parents, Mr. & Mrs. O.L.Simpson, they were able to establish Cache Creek Ranch, a farming and Hereford cattle operation near Spiro in northern LeFlore County.

     Fox loved classical music and opera. If they were working cattle on horseback on Saturday afternoons in the Fall, he would put a small transistor radio in his shirt pocket so he could listen to Texaco's broadcasts from the Metropolitan Opera.  Fox believed that every citizen should donate time and talent to public service. Soon after moving to Poteau, he joined the Rotary Club. 

He reactivated the LeFlore County OSU Alumni Association, initiated, and for many years managed, the OSU High School Honors Banquets. He had a standing offer to bet a thousand dollars against a nickel that he could make it possible for any LeFlore County high school senior with a B or better grade average to go to college. He never paid out a dime.

     Fox served 23 years as a member of the Leflore County Conservation District board, two terms as president of the Oklahoma Hereford Association, was a vice-president of the Okla. Cattlemen's Assoc., and chairman of the Carl Albert State College Development Foundation.  He was a member of the OSU Alumni Association Board, the U.S. Forest Service Advisory Board for the Ouachita National Forest, and the Spiro Industrial Development Advisory Committee. 

He was a Lifetime Member of both O.U. and O.S.U. Alumni Associations.  Throughout his adult life he gave free oil and gas leasing advice to friends and neighbors. Fox organized and served as chairman of the Tucker Bottom Farmers Association, a group of agricultural operators farming 16,000 acres of Arkansas River bottom land in northern Leflore County. The association was formed to address theft, vandalism, and legislation detrimental to agriculture. Regna and Fox worked for many years in the Republican Party at the county, state, and national level. During this time he held every county office.

He also served as Republican Chairman of the old 3rd Congressional District when it comprised one-third of Oklahoma's 77 counties. Fox was an elected Reagan delegate and member of the Rules Committee at the '76 and '80 Republican National Conventions.  On his 88th and 90th birthdays, just for the hell of it and to prove that he wasn't a complete couch potato, he drove to the Oklahoma Sky Diving Center and made solo parachute jumps. 

          Fox was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Regan Lee, a sister, Edith Theirs, and a brother, Burton Wood. He is survived by three sons: Fox Wood IV and wife Karen, Clark Wood, and Stephen Wood; three grandchildren, Fox V and wife Autumn, Megan Wood, and Casey Wood; and 4 Great grandchildren. 

         Funeral services will be 11:00am Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at the Victory Worship Center in Spiro, Oklahoma with Reverend Bryan Fouts officiating.  Burial will follow in the Short Mountain Cemetery under the direction of Mallory-Martin Funeral Home of Spiro. Viewing will be Tuesday from 9am-7pm at the funeral home.  In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to an entity of the donor's choice.  Please sign Mr. Wood’s online guest book at www.mallorymartinfuneralhome.com

 

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Mallory-Martin Funeral Home

 
Last modified on Friday, 05 March 2021 19:05
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