John H. Wood Jr.

Wood—John H. Wood Jr., 101, on April 1, 2016, at home in Pennswood Village in Newtown, Pa., surrounded by family. John was born on October 25, 1914, in Langhorne Manor, Pa., to Elizabeth W. Cadwallader and John H. Wood, Sr. A graduate of George School in 1933 and Swarthmore College in 1937, he earned a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1940. In 1941, he served with American Friends Service Committee in southern France by helping refugees escape from the Franco regime in Spain. In 1942, he married Jean Robertson, and they raised four children. In 1953 he opened a law practice, deepening his ties to the community, especially in his work for Youth Services of Bucks County.

He served Middletown Meeting in Langhorne, Pa., as clerk, and he was active in Bucks Quarterly Meeting and Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. For decades he served on the boards of the Friends Camp Association (Camp Onas), the Friends Boarding Home, and Friends Village of Bucks Quarterly Meeting. He retired in the 1990s, and he and Jean spent many summers on Long Beach Island, N.J., and later, during the cold winters of Pennsylvania, in Highland Park, Fla., where there was a standing invitation for Friends to visit.

His vocal ministry was a gift to Middletown Meeting, and he shared his generous spirit and warm loving light with adults and children alike. Friends often found him after potluck washing dishes in the meeting kitchen at one of the two double sinks that he had urged instead of a dishwasher, saying that these would give Friends more chance to work together than a dishwasher, which the meeting continues to forego. For many years, Friends would join John and Jean at a local coffee shop at the rise of meeting to spend a little more time in fellowship. Those that knew him will always remember his faithful presence at meeting, his warmth, and his gentle steady spirit. He called Friends to action with a gentle persistence, and he appreciated Isaac Penington’s words from 1667: “Our life is love, and peace, and tenderness; and bearing one with another, and forgiving one another, and not laying accusations one against another; but praying one for another, and helping one another up with a tender hand.”

John is survived by four children; seven grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; a sister; and a niece.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Maximum of 400 words or 2000 characters.

Comments on may be used in the Forum of the print magazine and may be edited for length and clarity.