- Published: Sunday, 06 May 2012 18:04
By Fred Clement
Past Governor Stacy B. C. Wood, Jr., 78, who held a number of positions with the Society over many years died April 28, 2012 at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
Stacy was governor from 2001 to 2003, was honored with the Most Distinguished Pilgrim Award in 2008, chaired numerous committees and was co-editor of The Pennsylvania Mayflower for a number of years.
He was instrumental building the Society's Education and Classroom Visits program, which brings Pilgrim re-enactors from Plimoth Plantation to schools throughout the state. Thousands of Pennsylvania children have watched real "Pilgrims" speak in 1620s dialect, dress in period clothes and answer questions about the Mayflower and life in early colonial America.
He became active in the Society later in life after becoming a historian and genealogist. He traced his lineage to many Pilgrims, including William Bradford, John Howland, Henry Samson, Edward Doty and John Alden. He founded the Susquehanna Colony in central Pennsylvania.
During the Korean and Vietnam conflicts, Stacy served in the U.S. Navy with the US Naval Security Group and the National Security Agency. He was based in Bainbridge MD, Washington D.C., Newport RI, Bremerhaven, Ger., the Pentagon, Ft. Meade MD, Pensacola FL, Saigon Vietnam and Edzell Scotland.
He was awarded the Bronze Star and several campaign and service metals. He retired in 1971, but continued to be involved with the Navy until 1973 heading the Naval Sea Cadet Corps in Lancaster.
After that Stacy went to Bowman Technical school in Lancaster, became a certified clockmaker and in 1976 became director and curator of the National Watch & Clock Museum in Columbia. Among books and articles he wrote was Clockmakers of Lancaster County and Their Clocks 1750-1850, considered a definitive work in its genre.
In 2003 he moved to South Philadelphia to be nearer to his children and subsequently his wife, Susanne, who was stricken with a series of strokes. For the last year he focused his remaining energies solely on her and rarely left her side.
Stacy graduated from Westtown School, tended his family's farm outside Malvern, attended Haverford College, and received his bachelor's degree from American University, Washington D.C.
He was a Fellow, Lancaster County Historical Society; Master Member, British Antiquarian Horological Society; Fellow, The Pilgrim Society. He was co-founder of the Henry Samson Kindred, a member of Pilgrim John Howland and Pilgrim Edward Doty Societies. He was also a member of The Netherlands Society of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Society of the War of 1812; Life member of Pennsylvania Society of the Sons of the Revolution; Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War; and Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania.
He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Susanne; sister Mary LeBaron Valentine Kurtz, brother Cooper, and three children, S.B. Campion 'Sam' Wood III, Philippa 'Pippa' Siguenza, Joseph Howland Wood; eight grandchildren. In lieu of flowers Stacy had requested that donations be made to the SMDPA's Education and Classroom Visits program; Treasurer Dorothy Y. Lees, PO Box 123, Wellsville, PA 17365.
A Few Words from Plimoth Plantation
Obituary from Lancaster Newspapers
By Jo-Ann Greene
As a clockmaker and historian, Stacy B.C. Wood Jr. occupied himself with both the ever-ticking present and the time-stopped past — until April 28, 2012.
That's when the 78-year-old retired naval officer died of a stroke at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia. After decades of living in Lancaster County, he and his wife had relocated to that city nine years ago to be closer to their children.
Wood attended the former Bowman Technical Institute in Lancaster, and in 1976 became the first director and curator of the National Watch & Clock Museum in Columbia.
He was a "long-standing ... stalwart" member of the board of the Lancaster County Historical Society, History.org Executive Director Tom Ryan said. Wood was named a fellow for his numerous contributions in 1997, an honor bestowed on only about a dozen people, ever, Ryan noted.
Wood was the "go-to guy" whenever there was a question about clocks, particularly the tall-case variety, said Bill Krantz, of Willow Valley, a historical society volunteer. Krantz said he thought of Wood "the other day. I thought I might see him at the annual meeting in a few weeks." Though Wood tended to stay by the side of his wife, Susanne, who was ill, he usually made it back each year for that event.
"Hardworking" and "well-liked" were the words longtime Watch & Clock Museum associate Lee Davis, of York, used to characterize Wood.
John J. Snyder Jr., of Landisville, who collaborated on a book on antique clocks with Wood, recalled him as "patient, giving ... the perfect gentleman." Snyder mentioned the many solid journal articles Wood researched and wrote on patriotic, historical and genealogical topics without ever seeking attention for himself.
It wasn't just historical society members and museum goers who benefited from Wood's knowledge and dedication.
Those fortunate enough to have inherited a Lancaster County tall-case clock appreciated Wood as the repairman who made house calls. He kept family heirlooms in working order while offering facts about the clockworks, faces, cabinets and makers. He was, after all, co-author with Snyder of the seminal work "Clockmakers and Watchmakers of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, 1750-1850."
In a Sunday News interview in 1991, Wood explained that "to me a clock has personality. It has something in it that seems to be alive. It's animated. It has sound. Even if it doesn't have a chime, it tells time. It speaks to you. It has a soul. It has life."
Legions of county grade-schoolers also benefited from Wood's interest in early American history. They learned about the Pilgrims directly from Plimoth Plantation re-enactors he brought to local schools when he was active in the Susquehanna Colony of the Society of Mayflower Descendants in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Wood wrote an "In My Opinion" piece for the Sunday News in November 2001 on Pilgrim heroes.
A Chestnut Hill native, Wood tended to the family farm near Malvern in his younger years and attended Westtown School and Haverford College before graduating from American University, Washington, D.C., in 1961.
He served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean and Vietnam wars, with the U.S. Naval Security Group and the National Security Agency, rose to the rank of lieutenant and was awarded the Bronze Star. He headed the Naval Sea Cadet Corps in Lancaster in the early 1970s. He was master member of the British Antiquarian Horological Society and a fellow of The Pilgrim Society, along with being affiliated with numerous other national historical societies.
He is survived by Susanne, his wife of 51 years; a sister, Mary LeBaron Valentine Kurtz; a brother, Cooper; and three children, S.B.Campion Wood III, Philippa Siguenza and Joseph Howland Wood; and eight grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Society of Mayflower Descendants of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's Education and Classroom Visits program: Treasurer Dorothy Y. Lees, PO Box 123, Wellsville, PA 17365. Some of Mr. Wood's ashes will be scattered at Plimoth Plantation, a son said.
Visitation will begin at 10:30 a.m. Monday, May 7, with funeral services at 11:30 a.m. at Bringhurst Funeral Home at West Laurel Hill Cemetery, 225 Belmont Ave., Bala Cynwyd.