In tribute: Salesman remembered for love of nature, enthusiasm for life
April 12, 2020
Floy Wood was a tremendous salesman with an unrivaled work ethic, but family members said he worked just as hard to glorify God and be there for his family.
Wood, who died March 20 at age 92, could always be counted on for a love of nature and an enthusiasm for life even as dementia and Alzheimer’s took its toll on the final dozen of his years.
Born Feb. 19, 1928, in Clayton, Wood got his experience in work early at his father’s Wood’s Grocery and as a high school senior for the railroad.
“He was in that greatest generation that valued hard work,” said his oldest daughter, Mary Dictson. “Dad didn’t play a lot. He was always working hard. He had really high expectations of us as kids.”
Wood valued education, graduating from Eastern New Mexico University when he was 28 after he was drafted into the Korean War, and told Dictson’s then-boyfriend to let her attend college as a condition of his permission for her hand in marriage.
Wood worked in many positions in Clovis and Portales, including a visiting teacher for Portales schools — the position is now referred to as a truant officer. But his most notable time came as manager of Turner’s Department Store, which he purchased and renamed Woody’s Department Store. He also sold for JCPenney and World Book Encyclopedia, receiving national recognition from the latter for moving books.
“He knew how to be friendly and persuasive,” said his youngest daughter, Elizabeth Self. “He was one of those Dale Carnegie types that knew how to influence people and try to bring out the best.”
Son Jimmy Wood said his father was never without a job, and some of his favorite times came during the years he worked at Woody’s with his father.
“He was always trying to be a better people person,” Jimmy Wood said. “He was very positive with customers and clerks alike. He was a good boss. No job was above or beneath him. He and I cleaned the bathrooms as well as did anything else.”
Floy was married to Georgia McKenzie for nearly 60 years. They were married in 1950, right before he was recalled into the Korean War and the family briefly relocated to Fort Smith, Arkansas.
Jimmy Wood, now a bookkeeper for the New Mexico Christian Children’s Home, said he sees the daily impact broken families can have and has become more grateful every day to have the upbringing his parents provided.
All four of the children felt they had special individual time with their father — for example, Jimmy got to spend his working days with Floy and Elizabeth got more one-on-one time with her parents because she was the youngest and her other siblings ventured out on their own before she did.
George Wood acted as his father’s caretaker, and was amazed at how he was able to stay upbeat in less than optimal conditions.
“It just amazed me,” George Wood said. “He’d be in hospice for two years and couldn’t walk. Every morning, I’d see him smile. His favorite expressions were, ‘Isn’t that pretty?’ or, ‘Isn’t that wonderful?’ He was always excited about life.”
Floy lived with his oldest daughter in the Portland area for a year, and George would go up every few months to give his sister a break. Some of his favorite memories with his father included car trips throughout the Great Northwest, including Little Big Horn.
The siblings recalled the Christian foundation Floy set at the home, and noted he never strayed from those principles at his job or at the church. They had daily Bible readings, seldom missed church growing up and stayed above the infighting that is just as much present in church circles as any other circles.
“He was who he was,” Jimmy Wood said. “He was honest, hardworking. He never hurt anybody that I knew about.”