Dr. Wood's positive mark on Lake Oswego remembered
Family physician, active Portland area volunteer dies -
Dr. Gregg D. Wood, Lake Oswegos voice for family doctors, died Jan. 8 at the age of 96; he was an extremely active volunteer in the Portland area throughout his life, and even blindness didnt stop his public service.
Wood practiced general medicine and surgery for more than 50 years, at the Lovejoy Medical Clinic from 1949 to 1964 before private practice in Lake Oswego from 1965 to 1992, during which time he was quoted in news stories regarding concerns about the future of family doctors in the U.S. medical system being increasingly centrally controlled.
Born Oct. 22, 1918, to Marjorie and George Dewey Wood in Portland, Gregg Wood attended Glencoe Grade School and Washington High School. He was proud of graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Reed College in 1939. Wood played first baseman for the Reed baseball team, as well as playing badminton and ping pong.
He earned his MD from the University of Oregon Medical School (now OHSU) in 1943, serving his internship at Anker Hospital in St. Paul, Minn. He served during World War II as captain of the Army Medical Corps stationed in Carlisle, Pa., and San Antonio, Texas, from 1944 through 46. In 1949 he completed his general surgery residency at the U.S. Veterans Administration Hospital in Portland.
Wood served as staff physician at Reed College for 10 years, and staff physician at Lewis & Clark and Marylhurst colleges for many years. He was team doctor for sports teams at Jesuit High School for nine years and Lake Oswego High School for 17 years. He was on the medical staff at St. Vincent Hospital until 1975 and was Union Pacific Railroads Northwest Regional Medical Director from 1951 to 1986.
As a charter member of Meridian Park Hospital, Wood was elected president of the medical staff in 1984; he also served as secretary-treasurer. Active in the hospitals cancer program, he served as associate fellow of its cancer division. As a board member for the Oregon Cancer Control Program, he helped develop innovations in cancer treatment of national significance and gave public lectures at Meier & Frank on health concerns.
Though legally blind after retirement due to macular degeneration, Wood continued to volunteer at homeless health clinics, including Old Town Clinic through the 2000s and medical director for INACT, a program in Portland that served people suffering from mental illness and substance abuse. He served several years volunteering at the Lake Oswego Adult Community Center as low-vision program coordinator.
Being a fervent Trail Blazers fan, he saw or heard nearly every game since 1970. A member of the Flyfishers Club of Oregon, he taught fly fishing to children at OMSI and in free public lessons in Lake Oswego. He fished at every opportunity, often on the Willamette from his boat moored in Sellwood, and usually using flies he tied himself.
He was pianist for Dixie Docs in the 1960s and for Dixieland jazz band Grahams Crackers, which regularly played benefit concerts during the 1970s and 80s. Later, he played solo at the Lake Oswego Adult Community Center and once at the Lake Oswego Arts Festival. He was an avid golfer when time allowed.
Wood had an abundance of zest for life. He never met a stranger, seeing something of interest in every human. After retirement, he began daily swimming at the Lake Oswego High School pool. Making lifelong friends, he played in Portland Scrabble Club #308 until 2009, using specialized lighting and large-letter tiles. He and his wife, Elizabeth, traveled to Scrabble tourneys from coast to coast and in British Columbia for 22 years.
Wood is survived by his wife of 42 years, Elizabeth; children Gregg Jr., Michael, Christopher (Barbara) and Stephanie; stepsons Tom (Melody), and Paul (Petra) Thompson; nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his stepson Greg (Sandy) Thompson.
At his request, no services will be held. In lieu of flowers, a remembrance to Talking Book and Braille Services, Oregon State Library, 250 Winter St NE, Salem OR 97301-3950 will be appreciated.