NISKAYUNA, NY — A wonderful man passed away on June 28, 2018. James Gerard Wood (Jim, Jimmy, Woody) had a unique talent for making people feel very special. He could talk to anyone anywhere and elicit smiles and laughter. He accomplished much in his life both personally and in his career but his greatest role was that of Dad and Grampy.
Born to Rita and Lewis Wood on August 5, 1945 in Rome, NY, Jim graduated in 1963 from St. Aloysius Academy and earned his B.A. from St John Fisher in 1967 and achieved is Masters in Education from SUNY Cortland in 1971.
After teaching sixth grade at Barringer School in Rome, Jim started his career at New York State United Teachers in 1974 as an intern, then Special Assistant to the President then Director of Field and Legal Services and retired in 2003 as Executive Director. He co-founded The New York State Labor-Religion Coalition and was President of the New York Chapter of the Alliance for Retired Americans.
Honors awarded to Jim include the 2001 Ellis Island Medal of Honor bestowed for promoting ethnic and religious tolerance and equality; in 2017 he received the Distinguished Service Awards from both the State of New York and the Central New York AFL-CIO Labor Council for Exemplary support of the labor movement.
Although basketball was his early sport, golf became his life-long passion. He hit a grand slam in 1966 winning the Rome City Amateur, the Teugega Club Championship and the Utica Newspaper Tournament of Champions. Jim resided in Niskayuna and Ft Myers, FL. and was fortunate to have three “home” courses where he had the best of times with all his golfing buddies; the Teugega in Rome, the Edison Club in Rexford and Kelly Greens in Ft Myers.
Jim is survived by his wife Linda (Giacomini) who will miss him to eternity; daughters Wendy Matteson (Scott) and Kimberly Wood; cherished grandchildren, James, Abigail and William Matteson, Kasey and Chase Roberts and Sophie Makarowski; his brothers, Robert (Valerie) and David (Kathy); his sisters, Mary Lou Sauter (Jerry), Bernadette Dunn (Larry), Sue Carvelli (Tony) and Betsy O’Brien (Bob); his brother and sisters-in-law’s, David Giacomini (Dusti Dean), Sue Giacomini and Sharon Giacomini O’Neil; and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.
A special thank you goes to the hospital and hospice staff of Ellis Hospital C-1.
A visitation for James will be held on Thursday morning July 5th at Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Parish on 2216 Rosa Rd. in Niskayuna from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Relatives and friends are invited to attend. A Mass of Christian burial will follow the visitation at 10:30 a.m.
Interment will be at Grove Cemetery in Coeymans, NY at the convenience of the family.
In lieu of flowers to support Jim’s ongoing endeavor to further education, donations may be made payable to the James Wood Scholarship Fund (administered by the Rome College Foundation) and mailed in care of S. Carvelli 8275 Northgate Dr. Rome, NY 13440
To leave a message or a condolence for James family please visit www.bondfuneralhome.com