BY DAN TAYLOR, ENERGIZING ENTREPRENEURIAL COMMUNITIES PROGRAM COORDINATOR, THE HUB
In my two years working in Lincoln County with the Hub, first through The Hub’s Innovation Acceleration Strategy program and now the Energizing Entrepreneurial Communities program, Zeke Wood was always a shining light of person who cared for and stepped up for his community.
I knew Zeke primarily from his work with the Lincoln County Farmer’s Market, a platform that we at The Hub have worked to assist. However, not having known Zeke as well as many of those in his community, I want to share this fantastic write up about him from his daughter-in-law, Ashley Lilly Wood. It shows all of the hats he wore and what he meant to everyone.
I was honored to attend a celebration of Zeke’s life on Saturday, July 28 at Wood Family Farm, outside of Hamlin, a beautiful place that Zeke referred to as his church.
We will miss him – his family, friends, and community will miss him – but we are all lucky for the work that he put in to make Lincoln County a better place.
Words from Ashley Lilly Wood:
“Zeke Wood, 77 of Hamlin, made his final journey on July 23rd, 2018, from the hills of West Virginia. He often spoke reverently, while walking amongst the nature and greenhouses of The Wood Family Farm, saying, “This is my church.” The many who loved him rest assured his transition was an easy one. A short illness may have temporarily taken his strength, but never his spirit. He was comforted and supported in his final moments by family.
Zeke’s love of farming permeated every aspect of his life. Born in Coolridge, West Virginia, he served in the US Army and attended WVU, earning his Masters degree in Horticulture.
He was committed to inspiring young farmers in 4H. As the leader of Middle Creek 4H Club, he taught them to farm tobacco, while he worked as the manager of Adkins Hardware in Hamlin.
Zeke was a lifetime member of FFA Alumni and vice president of the Lincoln County Chapter. He was Market Manager of Lincoln County Farmer’s Market for more than ten years, and a WVU Extension Agent for Agriculture for the counties of Boone, Lincoln, and Logan, where he was manager of a demonstration farm for 5 years.
He was a member and participating farmer with Lincoln County Farm Trails, which operated a demonstration farm for 4 years, and as vice president of Lincoln County Farm Bureau, from its formation in 1995 to the present, Zeke was personally responsible for bringing more than 20 high tunnels to Lincoln County.
He shared his knowledge freely, nurturing a close knit community of fellow farmers. His passion for life was unsurpassed. He was humble and kind, a hard working and light hearted man that will be missed immeasurably.
He is preceded in death by his father Dailey Wood, his mother Frances Eads-Wood, his stepfather Walter Crews, his stepson Shannon Keeling, and his ex-wife Wanda Gaye Wood.
He is survived by his loving companion of 35 years, Nona Conley of Hamlin, his sons Chris, Greg, and Joe as well as Joe’s wife Ashley, and their two daughters Allison and Hailey, Zeke’s beloved granddaughters, all of Hamlin.
He is also survived by his stepchildren Angie, Clifford, Darrien and Shawna Keeling. He is survived by his companion’s children, who also considered him a step father, Joanna Hutchinson, Baena Carter of Charlestown, and Cheryl Hardy along with her children Shannon, Natasha and Nikki.”