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David Richards Wood, 67, of East Brainerd, died on Thursday, February 1, 2018 at Erlanger Hospital of Congestive Heart Failure.
David was a lifelong Chattanooga resident, born in 1950 to Carl J. and Evelyn R. Wood and grew up in St. Elmo. He graduated from Central High School where he excelled in Math and Music. While still a student, he often played string bass with the teachers at school assemblies and later as a professional. He attended University of Tennessee-Chattanooga and continued his love of music there in the band and music department.
Over his lifetime, David wore innumerable hats:Dancer, Actor, Director, Teacher, Choreographer, Singer, Pianist, Organist, Comedian.
He was Co-owner of Massari – Wood Dance Studio for 35 years, Co-Director of Civic Ballet for 35 years, Drama Director & Tech Supervisor at McCallie Middle School for 15 years. David recently celebrated his 40th year as Organist and Soloist at First Church of Christ, Scientist on McCallie Ave. He was associated with the Signal Mountain Playhouse in several capacities over the years including director, actor, choreographer, lighting director.
Mr. Wood danced principal roles with the Chattanooga Civic Ballet, the Scottish American Ballet, Allegro Dance Theater and the Chattanooga Dance Ensemble. He performed with the Chattanooga Opera for many years and has been a professional musician and church organist for 47 years. He was a member of the comedy improvisational group, Chattanoodle. David had been selected as an Artist-In-Residence for the Tennessee Arts Commission, Allied Arts and the WolfTrap Foundation.
Some of the many other organizations he was involved with were Center of Creative Arts, Chattanooga Christian, GPS, Heritage High School, Chattanooga School of Arts & Sciences, Barking Legs Theater, and Chattanooga State.
David is survived by two sisters, Lynda Mee of Pickens, SC and Ola Manley (Ron) of Fincastle, VA; three brothers, James Wood (Shannon) of Kailua, HI, Roy Wood (Julie) of Charlotte, NC and Joe Stargel of Dunlap, TN; close longtime friends Sue Christensen and Donna Massari; numerous nieces and nephews; plus his immense family of friends, students and dancers.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Carl J. & Evelyn R. Wood and a sister, Dr. Dolores Nell Wood.
A funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 8 at Thankful Memorial Episcopal Church in St. Elmo, 1607 W. 43rd St., Chattanooga, with interment of ashes in the Thankful’s Trinity Memorial Garden immediately following.
A celebration of David’s life and work is being organized and will take place on Feb. 24, time &venue TBD.
Memorial contributions may be made to Thankful Memorial Episcopal Church for their GAP (Growth and Preservation) Drive or their Children’s Reading Center or to the charity of your choice.