After a long battle
with cancer, Norman Louis Wood died at his apartment in Harbor, Oregon on July 6, 2013. He was 87.
Norman was born in Portland, Oregon and grew up in the The Dalles, Oregon. His childhood was filled with hunting, fishing and trapping. With permission from the local Nez Perce, he and his father dip net salmon at Celilo Falls.
He met his future bride Constance Hoffman in high school, but military service intervened. During World War II, Norm piloted a landing craft in the Pacific, transferring marines from Navy ships to beaches on Guam, Iwo Jima, the New Hebrides and the Philippines. Often he would return with the dead and wounded. During the second wave at Iwo Jima his vessel was disabled by enemy artillery and Norm joined marines on the beach until he could catch a ride back to his ship. After the war he returned to The Dalles and married Connie.
Norm’s early work life included the fire department, cutting and selling Christmas trees, stringing telephone lines for remote farmers, and running trap lines. His long time career was with the telephone company. In 1966 Norm, Connie, and their two children moved to Portland where he was a supervisor with responsibilities including the Portland airport. He was with the phone company until his retirement in 1982, but his favorite pastimes were hunting and fishing. After retirement Norm turned his experience as a sportsman and part-time Deschutes river guide into a full time career. Between the years 1967-1995 he and his jet boat, the “Stormin' Norman”, were well known on the lower Deschutes River. His hand tied fishing fly, the “Norm Wood Special” has generated numerous imitators. His nephew Scott now ties his fly.
Norman and his wife Connie enjoyed years of traveling including California, Arizona, Key West, Mexico, Canada, Puerto Rico, Aruba, the Caymans, and Cook Islands. Fishing was often part of the trip. Norm’s fishing trips to Alaska and their trip to the Florida Keys were favorites.
In 1967 Norman pulled a man from the Deschutes River and later was awarded the bronze Vail Award.
In 2012 Norm and Connie moved to Harbor, Oregon to be close to their daughter.
Survivors include his wife of 66 years, Constance, their children Diana Rayner of Brookings, Mark Wood of Lake Oswego and their spouses. Also his brother Jack Wood of The Dalles, his wife and two sons, Jeff and Scott Wood and their families.
Norm will be interred at Willamette National Cemetery. A memorial service is planned for Monday July 29th at noon; arrival time of 11:30 is suggested. For directions to the covered shelter, inquire at the cemetery office. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Norman's memory to the Portland Providence Medical Foundation for Cancer Research. Redwood Memorial Chapel, Brookings, OR, is assisting the family. Condolences may be expressed online at www.redwoodmemorial.
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