Robert ‘Doug’ Wood
1938 ~ 2023
Robert “Doug” Wood, age 85, was born June 20, 1938, in Butte, Montana, the first of five brothers, to Mary and Bob Wood. Bob, a copper miner, determined to keep his boys out of the mines, moved the family to Post Falls, Idaho, in 1950 where Doug grew up. At Post Falls High School, he demonstrated his natural leadership skill as president of his senior class, student council president, and co-captain of the championship football team that captured the first Panhandle B Conference title for the Trojans in the school’s history.
Though awarded two football scholarships and playing for a short time at EWC, Doug returned to Post Falls and graduated from North Idaho Junior College in 1962. He secured his commission as 2nd lieutenant and entered Air Force flight training, achieving recognition for Highest Mid-Phase Flight Formation Instrument Flying. In 1963 he pinned on his wings and reported to Perrin AFB where he completed advanced intercept training and flew with the 116th Fighter Intercept Squadron for the Washington Air National Guard. Doug accepted an offer to fly commercially for NW Airlines in 1965.
At the pinnacle of his flying career, in June 1988 Doug captained the B747 and for the next ten years began his long trips flying from Seattle to Tokyo. He was one of the early pilots to land in Beijing. The nose and cockpit of the B747 that Doug often flew is in the National Air & Space Museum.
Doug married Karen Breuher in 1969 and together they raised their family in their home on the Spokane River. Karen died an untimely death in 1989.
In 1992 he married an old friend, Sheila, and over the next 31 years they built together a life centered around their home and families. In 1998 Doug retired from a 35-year distinguished flying career. He loved flying and softball and classic cars, but what he loved best was his home and his family. He was the ultimate provider, husband, and father. He was his family’s anchor and their wings. His moral code, his courage, and his deep sense of commitment to home, family, God, and country were the gold standard for his family to follow.
Through all his many moves and trips, he kept two touchstones: one football cleat and his final grade slip from NIJC. Asked once what his favorite flying destination was, he said of Post Falls, “It’s all downhill from here.”
Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of North Idaho, 2290 W. Prairie Ave. Coeur d’Alene, ID 83815, where he received expert and compassionate care in the final days of his life. Special thanks go out to the staff of Post Falls Family Medicine and to Dr. Patrick Marvill, who treated Doug as though he was his only patient.
Doug is survived by his family and many friends and relatives.
At his request, at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church, 919 E. Indiana in Coeur d’Alene, we will bid him blue skies and a soft landing.
Funeral mass Thursday, November 9 @ 11 a.m.
Reception following at River City Lanes in Post Falls from 2 - 5 PM.
(~ Sheila Wood)