Lawrence Albert Wood III


Born to Edythe Covey and Judge L. A. Wood on February 22, 1944, Larry was raised in Chickasha, Oklahoma, with his sister, Linda (now Rushton). Larry died May 7, 2019, in Oklahoma City, from complications due to diabetes. During the past 45 years, Larry was a professional political campaign consultant to hundreds of state and local campaigns for public office including judicial races, and to state-wide initiative petition drives seeking public votes to legalize Pari-mutual Horse Racing and Liquor-by-the-drink in Oklahoma, both successful. In his youth, Larry was active in the Methodist Church and Boy Scouts, attaining Eagle Scout. During his childhood in Chickasha, his parents' home was the Grady County campaign headquarters for U.S. Senator Robert S. Kerr, among others. Active in politics most of his life, Larry enjoyed talking politics, discussing and planning strategies, and winning. Attending Chickasha High School, Larry worked as an orderly at the Grady Memorial Hospital in summers. After graduation from high school and again in the 1970s, Larry attended OU, where he studied Political Science. His studies were initially interrupted by the death of his father in 1964, and the Vietnam War. In May 1966 through May 1968, Larry served in the U.S. Army in Hawaii as a water safety instructor at the Jungle Training School and later in Vietnam as a Medical Liaison for the 11th Infantry Brigade. He was assigned to the 85th and 87th Evacuation Hospitals in Qui Nhon and his main unit was at Duc Pho. He worked hard to make sure medical personnel had all the equipment and medications needed to treat wounded soldiers, and when needed in emergencies, tending to them himself. Larry's adult political career began in 1963 and 1964 when he worked in the successful Oklahoma campaign of Jed Johnson for Congress. After his military service, he returned to politics. He enjoyed managing campaigns for individuals running for office, initiative petition drives for education and other important issues, as well as statewide and county liquor-by-the-drink campaigns. Many Oklahoma cities and counties benefitted from his efforts to help enact temporary sales taxes for economic development and other campaigns - Ardmore, Ponca City, Norman, Atoka, Lawton, Durant, Bartlesville, Altus, Duncan, Chickasha, Elk City and others. Larry also managed and consulted on judicial, legislative, municipal and school board campaigns, as well as school bond issues. Larry enjoyed meeting and getting to know people and their views (whether he agreed with them or not) and hearing their stories. He was a great storyteller, lover of opera and classical music, art and Santa Fe. He was a loving husband to Betty and a fun, supportive father to Emmeline (taking her and friend, Emily, to cultural events including the Nutcracker Ballet
each December), and taking them and Betty to Santa Fe and the Opera. Larry is survived by his wife, Betty, of OKC; daughter, Emmeline; sister, Linda; brother-in-law, Charles Rushton; niece, Cathy Carter; nephew-in-law, Ben Carter; and great nephew, William Carter, all of Norman, and numerous friends all over Oklahoma and elsewhere. Larry is and will continue to be greatly missed. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to the American Diabetes Association, 2451 Crystal Drive, Suite 900, Arlington, VA 22202.
Published on May 24, 2019
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