The armed services of this great country lost a warrior patriot when Master John Kent Wood Jr. (Jauhny) raced up the stairway to heaven on June 3, 2019. He was met at the top by his parents, John (Jack) Decker Wood and Evelyn Frances (Green) Wood, Grandma Sally, niece Debbie Jo, nephew Steven, mother-in-law Theresa, sister-in-law JoAnn and his Uncle Mighty Max.
He was born Dec. 6, 1952 to Jack and Evelyn in Glasgow, Mont. Jauhny used to joke that nobody could forget his birthday because of Dec. 7 – Day of Infamy. Jauhny won the Voice of Democracy Debate when he was 13 years old. Throughout his life he lively debated his opinion on the political state of affairs. In his teen years he was a member of the DeMolay, Boy Scouts (made it to Eagle Scout), played football and earned straight A’s until his senior year. His family moved out of state, leaving him to finish his senior year alone. As Jauhny put it, “Why get hurt playing football when I could play in the pep band, get the girls and party?” He quit all organizations to work at the Husky Station after school.
“I did not have much money and learned how to make tomato soup from ketchup and hot water! My favorite job was being the night DJ at the radio station. Of course, I did not get paid much of anything working those two jobs!”
Jauhny graduated from Glasgow High School in 1971 unsure of what he was going to do. On a whim he took the test at the recruiter’s office. His scores placed him in the top 1% of the nation. Jauhny laughs, “My recruiter received a bonus when I joined the Nuclear Navy in 1972. All I cared about was being the best of the best and having three solids a day!” He continued to give his best for 26 years and more.
John was training in CA/ID when he met Roxanna Grear. They married and had a son, Jeremy Michael Wood, May 27, 1975. “I actually got pay docked from my check because I wanted to be there when my child was born.” He later found out that he had been exposed to radiation and had a cancerous thyroid. He opted for Nuclear surgery and pzzt no thyroid. John and Roxy divorced in 1978 due to the stresses of military life and John’s medical issues. She and Jeremy moved back to the states. John stayed in the navy and served aboard many ships while seeing the world. When he was discharged he became an active reservist. The WOOPS project in WA fell through and so did Jauhny’s dreams of working in the civilian nuclear world. He was a salesman, shop foreman, mechanic, spa builder and all-around gopher until he got hired as an electronics calibration mechanic for the Trident Refit Facility at Submarine Bangor.
He attended a Jefferson Starship concert in Lacey, Wash. before he moved north. There his attention kept being diverted by a girl who kept staring at him. Two years later he would take that girl on a blind date (unbeknownst to both) and on July 4, 1990 he married that same girl, Lisa Marie Covert-Derr at McComas Meadows. The mental/emotional stress of a miscarriage early in 1991, his mother’s death in May 1991, father’s death in 1992, and the unrelenting symptoms of untreated PTSD from his military service caused him to retire early.
In February 1998 he left TRF for the quiet prairie of Idaho where he tried his hand at being a gentleman farmer. After getting knocked on his ass by a runaway steer and collapsing from fatigue after one day of throwing 175 bales, he decided to leave ranch work to others. He attended the police academy and became a correction officer at Orofino. Though he enjoyed being back in uniform and being a member of an elite force, he resigned in three months because of the fallout from his PTSD. He took a part time delivery route in Lewiston/Clarkston and turned it into a full-time business – Valley Messenger Services that he owned and operated for 17 years. “Ha, my clients were lawyers.”
In September 2005 they moved to Clearwater and found home and community. Here Jauhny served on the Water Board and was a volunteer firefighter while driving to and from the valley each day. The Woods’ home became sanctuary for teens and animals. Jauhny was a mentor, role model and father figure for many girls and boys. “If the kids don’t like what I have to say they can always leave, but they better not expect me to give handouts.” Jauhny taught many young people how to put in a good day’s work and be proud.
In 2016 Jauhny was forced to retire and became sidelined by untreated Legionnaires Disease that put more stress on his lungs and heart. Ironically, this disease is what made Jauhny get help for his PTSD. For the next three years he assisted other veterans in gaining benefits and fighting for services while battling his own PTSD disease until his death.
When asked about his greatest accomplishments Jauhny listed them in order: “birth of my son, being the best in the military in my field—I could fix anything, marrying Lisa, taking parents on a dry dock sub tour, achieving a million points in one turn on Galaga video game (sorry Nan), watching Mariah be born, Northern Lights at the North Pole, swimming with dolphins, forgiving my family, my son and myself. Though my career was important, I learned almost too late that without family and good friends life is empty. Life is too short. Live, love, laugh and forgive every day and moment. You get one go around. Make those memories count! I wish I would have met Jackson Michael and Addison Rose.”
Jauhny is survived by his wife Lisa Wood of 29 years of Clearwater; his son Jeremy Wood (Monica) of Edgefield, Texas; his sister Jeannie Wood (Cindy) of Maple Valley, Wash.; brothers LeRoy Wood (Di) of Palmer, Alaska and Richard Miller (JoAnn) of Glasgow, Mont., JCF- WA; niece Eva Sue Wood of Boise; sister-in-laws Angie Bedell (Pete) of Olympia, Wash., Viola Derr (Randy) of Grangeville, Jody Wimer (Forrest) of Nezperce and Tammy B. (James) of Grangeville; Wood Sanctuary kids Kevin, Charley, Tiffany, Katrina, Tasha, Kat, Spencer, Elizabeth, Alexis, Zack, Jordan, Ben, Jshrael, Miranda, Allee, Barry, Zac, Nick, Steven, Carlos, Huntik, Fayre and Asher (Sarah) Cooper of Sacramento, Calif. Please DO NOT SEND FLOWERS, instead help a military family you know, be a mentor to teens/kids/young adults, give to the local food banks, write to veterans overseas, contact the Veterans’ Center near you and ask how you can be of service, get involved and make a difference in a life. This will honor Jauhny. Not self, but country!
The memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 13, at the Harpster RV Park gazebo. Condolences may be sent to the family at trenaryfuneralhome.com.