Jewel Dean Wood

Feb. 26, 1931 – Feb. 21, 2014

Jewel passed away Feb. 21, five days before her 83rd birthday. She was born in Atkins, Ark. to the late Wilbur and Okla Jones, the oldest of 15 kids. As a child growing up during the Great Depression, she worked in the cotton fields after school and helped look after her many brothers and sisters. She finished high school in Marysville, Calif. where she met her future husband, Richard Wood, who was stationed at Beale Air Force Base. They were married in Reno in 1960, then moved to Alameda to start a family. She and Richard had three strong sons, who admired her for her grace, guidance and caring touch when they were struggling in school, at work, or sick. Jewel truly personified the feminine ideal of the “Greatest Generation.”

She was a loyal American, loving mother, grandmother and friend. She had an amazing work ethic, cultivated at an early age, and worked many jobs, including nurse’s aide at Rideout Memorial Hospital in Marysville, as a sales assistant at Montgomery Wards, and for 17 years as an LVN at Lake Park Retirement Home in Oakland. Jewel loved gardening, dancing, watching baseball, and spending time with family. She had an amazing garden and array of plants, which always thrived under her care. In retirement, she learned to dance. She loved to square dance and do the Cha Cha. Her favorite team was the Oakland Athletics, and Mark McGwire was her favorite player.

She loved holidays and birthdays, and never missed a chance to send a card or word of encouragement to family or friends to brighten up their days. She is lovingly remembered by her three sons, Steven of Alameda; David of Albany, Calif.; Carl of Reno; her dear companion and dance partner, James Massey; Richard, the boys’ father, her seven grandchildren, as well as extended family members and friends. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 8, at 3 p.m. at Faith to Life Christian Church, 601 Spokane St., Reno. Call the Neptune Society: (755) 582-8575 for more information.