Richard Bruce Wood passed away peacefully on Monday, April 4, 2022 at C-U Regional Rehab Center in Savoy at the age of 87. Bruce was born March 11, 1935 in East Orange, NJ, the son of Richard Treadwell and Katherine Maynard (Schanck) Wood. He grew up in South Orange, NJ and graduated from Columbia High School in Maplewood, NJ. He married Susanne Kathryn Griffiths August 8, 1970 in Champaign. She preceded him in death on October 6, 2019. He is survived by a sister Grace Ruth of San Francisco, CA, a niece, Ann Pariente of Cocoa Beach, FL and numerous cousins.
Bruce was a veteran of the U.S. Army, serving in Germany. He graduated from Yale University with a BA in Russian Studies in 1961. He continued his studies, earning an MA in Russian Studies from Fordham University in 1963 and an MS in Geography from the University of Illinois in 1966 where he was also a teaching assistant. After a brief tenure as an instructor in the Beloit College Geography Department, he returned to the Champaign-Urbana area where he married, settled in Philo and worked for the US Postal Service.
Bruce and Sue played with the U of I Russian Folk Orchestra and were members of the Balalaika & Domra Association of America. They enjoyed many yearly conventions where the full group orchestra practiced nightly and then gave a public concert at the end of the week. They especially loved a trip to Scandinavia and Russia with that organization. Bruce was an avid collector of Aladdin Lamps, and he and Sue were regular attendees at the annual gatherings of the National Association of Aladdin Lamp Collectors. He was installed as an Elder in the Philo Presbyterian Church in 1987 during which time he and Sue would light the church with his Aladdin Lamps for the Christmas Eve Service. He served as a Trustee and President of the Philo Library Board, elected in 1991. Bruce also served as a board member of the Champaign County Historical Museum and exhibited his remarkable collection of Presidential Memorabilia there following the 2004 Presidential election. Bruce also enjoyed collecting postage stamps and Worlds Fair materials, and had a lifelong love of photography.
Private graveside services were held at Locust Grove Cemetery, Philo. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Philo Public Library. Condolences may be offered at www.renner-wikoffchapel.com.
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