Michael Cheney Wood, 1951-2021
We are profoundly saddened to share that Michael Cheney Wood, 69, passed away February 1, 2021 at his home in Aurora, MN, following a brief illness. He was born August 31, 1951 in Chicago, IL to John Cheney Wood and Suzanne Watson Wood, both of whom predeceased him. Michael attended Alfred-Almond Central, Almond, NY, graduating in 1969. He received the Bachelor of Arts degree from St. John’s College, Santa Fe, where he studied the great books and liberal arts. He later spent time in New York City, dancing with the Merce Cunningham dance company. He and Marjory Johnson were married in Minneapolis, MN, on May 29, 1996.
Over the course of his work life, he was known for his creative and innovative approach - applying technology solutions to business problems in New Mexico, Australia, and Minnesota, for Sophia Learning, Solution Design Group, Fujitsu, and BORN Information Services, among others. His important work in weather/nuclear winter modeling (Los Alamos National Labs) contributed to the end of the Cold War. His continued, endless curiosity about climate change and scientific inquiry was applied to many aspects of his life’s pursuit of knowledge.
His love for family, friends, and the outdoors is reflected in every memory of him, from ski patrol in New Mexico, to canoeing in the Minnesota Boundary Waters (at one time taking a wrong turn into Canada), to shuttling grandchildren to school, or testing a new sleeping bag on the porch in the dead of winter. He believed in our responsibility to protect the environment and respect the Earth. He was always willing to step up, with grace and generosity, when called upon by friends or family. Michael loved the trails, mountains, and lakes of Minnesota and the mountains of New Mexico. He hiked the entire 310-mile Superior Hiking Trail over the course of several years, and a number of sections of the North Country Trail. His passion for hiking, cycling, skiing, camping, and other outdoor activities was clear to anyone who crossed his path.
Michael is survived by his wife and best friend, Marjory Johnson Wood; son Galen Wood of Minneapolis, and his daughters Maia and Sofia; daughter Ranier Wood of Santa Fe and her son Oliver; grandchildren he & Marjory raised Erinn Wilson, and Tyler and Gabe Wood; sister Carol Wood (Ken Maracek) of Plattekill, NY and their daughter Casey Maracek and son Avery Maracek (Gillian Hammond); and numerous additional grandchildren, great-grandchildren, extended family and friends.
A private memorial service is being planned. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that a donation be made to the Superior Hiking Trail or a trail system of your choice.
Family services are provided by Bauman-Cron, a Bauman Family Funeral Home in Virginia. To leave a remembrance of Michael online, see www.baumanfuneralhome.com
We will miss his intelligence, kindness, wit, and laugh.
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