Chester Wayne Wood, longtime businessman, devoted husband, father, grandfather and friend, passed away peacefully, surrounded by his loving and dedicated family, on July 10, 2019, at the age of 75 years.
Chester was born Jan. 7, 1944, to Ivan Emmitt and Mary Vivian Beard Wood. He spent his childhood in Conway, Missouri, where he graduated from Conway High School. Chester always appreciated the closeness of the small community and treasured the countless friends he made through the years. When Chester was in high school, he loved playing basketball for the Conway Bears.
After graduating, Chester worked in Anchorage, Alaska, refueling planes. After coming home, he worked various jobs. In 1968, Chester was drafted into the United States Army, where he patriotically served our country from 1968-1969 during the Vietnam War. Chester received two Purple Hearts, the Bronze Star and the Combat Infantry Badge during his service.
After his honorable discharge, Chester returned to the Lebanon community. He worked at various places over the years, including the Coca-Cola Bottling Company, the United States Post Office and Montgomery Ward for several years.
In the early 1980s Chester became the owner and operator of W&W Discount Tires. For the next 36 years, Chester could be found at the shop Monday through Saturday. Whether cracking jokes, changing tires or buying an ice cream cone for a customer’s child, Chester’s main objective was to help in any way he could. Through the years, the selfless acts of kindness shown to others were countless. Chester sold the business June 21, 2019.
As a young adult, Chester was baptized at the Phillipsburg Christian Church. Chester followed Jesus, in that he lived his life as a humble Christian who helped countless others in their time of need.
On Dec. 29, 1972, Chester was united in marriage with Rhonda James. Together they shared the next 46 years of love and laughter, while raising their two children, Laura and Daniel.
Chester enjoyed the simple life. He was a talented entertainer and musician. He enjoyed playing and singing country music for community events and benefits for those in need. Chester loved fishing, he loved music, but most importantly, he loved his family.
He leaves to celebrate his memory his wife Rhonda; one daughter, Laura Rumfelt, and her husband David, of Conway; one son, Daniel Wood and his wife Stephanie of Hillsboro; one brother, Terry Wood, of Marshfield; one sister, Connie Jenkins and her husband Dr. Leon Jenkins, of Lebanon; nine grandchildren, Briana, Devin, Archer and Hudson Wood, Alexa Ladyman, Amanda Bradley and her husband Shane, Rebecca Weber and her husband Isaac, Hannah Eldridge and her husband Clay, and Olivia Rumfelt; six great-grandchildren, Nolan, Wren, Chris, Conner, Jay and Kirel; and other relatives and friends.
Chester was preceded in death by his parents; one brother, Paul Wood; and one sister, JoAnn Garza.
Chester was the kind of man you could meet once and remember forever. Whether it was his random acts of kindness, the “latest joke,” his ability to tug at your heartstrings through music, or a simple wink and grin, he made an impact. Our lives are better because of Chester. He taught us the importance of living life to the fullest, and loving without boundaries.