July 7, 1938
January 29, 2014
Bud Wood, 75, of Salado and formerly of Houston, passed away on January 29, 2014 at Scott and White hospital in Temple, Texas, after a battle with stomach cancer.
Bud was born on July 7, 1938, in Guntersville, Alabama, to Ira Burnett and Ines (Stephens) Wood. He would meet his future wife Barbara Ann “Tootsie” Carruth in kindergarten there.
A three sport all-state athlete at Marshall County High School, he was recruited by SEC programs in football, baseball, and basketball and went on to letter in football at the University of Alabama. He also played minor league baseball in the St. Louis Cardinals minor league system, playing first base and outfield for the Dothan Cardinals in the Alabama-Florida League.
Having married Tootsie early in 1958, he took on the additional assignment of driving the team bus to make a little extra money for his young family.
After his athletic career, he worked for Brown Engineering and Federal Electric at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, moving to Lompoc, California with Federal Electric to support launch operations at Vandenberg Air Force Base.
In 1967 he accepted a job with Univac in Houston supporting NASA at the Johnson Space Center. Early in his career at JSC, he worked on the software telemetry systems used by the Apollo flight control team in Mission Control.
He enjoyed coaching youth sports in Clear Lake and was proud to have led the NASA Area Little League All Stars to the Texas state tournament for the first time in 1974.
In 1979, he went to work for MITRE and continued his career as a respected systems engineer working on many performance improvements for the Shuttle Mission Simulator and other simulator systems through 1994, when he moved to MITRE’s operations at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey.
He retired in 2001 after spending several years working at Ft. Hood as MITRE’s site leader supporting the Army’s Force XXI project.
Always interested in technology and the military and fascinated by the Civil War, he was proud of being able to contribute to the success of the U.S. Space Program and our military forces.
Bud spent his retirement in Salado. He also enjoyed helping his sons build a family retreat in the Texas Hill Country on the Frio River near Leakey.
He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Barbara Wood; two sons William Burnett Wood II and wife Keely, Frank Thomas Wood and wife Lynn; five grandchildren Kevin William Wood and wife Scarlett (currently expecting Bud’s first great grandchild), Christopher Mathew Wood, Kelsey Ann Wood, Hillary Lynn Wood, and Ellen Buquo Wood; one brother Walter V. Wood, wife Ann, and niece Jo Shannon Wood.
No service is planned at this time for Bud. He and his wife will be buried together in their hometown of Guntersville, Alabama, when the time comes.
Family and friends will gather at Cathy’s Boardwalk Cafe in Salado at 5 p.m. Feb. 15 to celebrate Bud’s life.
In memory of Bud, donations can be made to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, www.jdrf.org.