After a long battle with cancer, Norman Louis Wood died July 6, 2013, at his apartment in Harbor. He was 87.
Norm was born in Portland and grew up in the The Dalles. His childhood was filled with hunting, fishing and trapping. With permission from the local Nez Perce he and his father dip netted 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 Ocean, 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 the 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 working as a firefighter, cutting and selling Christmas trees, stringing telephone lines for farmers living in remote areas, and running trap lines.
His longtime 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 at 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. From 1967 to 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 flys.
Norman and his wife Connie enjoyed years of traveling, including trips to California, Arizona, Key West, Mexico, Canada, Puerto Rico, Aruba, Caymans, and Cook Island. 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 to be close to their daughter.
Survivors include Constance, his wife of 66 years; their children Diana Rayner of Brookings, Mark Wood of Lake Oswego and their spouses. Also surviving is his brother Jack Wood of The Dalles and his wife and their two sons Jeff and Scott Wood, and their families.
Norm will be interred at Willamette National Cemetery. A memorial service is planned there at noon Monday, July 29. 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, 4805 N.E. Glisan St., Portland OR 97213.
Redwood Memorial Chapel is assisting the family. Condolences may be expressed online at www.redwoodmemorial.net.
Submitted by Redwood Memorial Chapel.