W. Raymond Wood, 1931-2020
W. Raymond Wood, 89, of Columbia, passed away on Friday, October 2, 2020 at University Hospital in Columbia.
Dr. Wood was born on May 18, 1931 to Elbert S. and Vera Hiatt Wood in Gordon, Nebraska. On September 7, 1957 he married Bonnie Lou Humphrey in Montrose, Colorado. He later married Carolee Ramey Forster on February 15, 1992 in Columbia, and she survives.
He attended the University of Nebraska (BA 1954, MA 1956) and the University of Oregon (Ph.D. 1961) and taught anthropology at the University of Missouri from 1963 to 2001, when he became an emeritus faculty. He began his professional career at the State Historical Society of North Dakota in 1954, with which he maintained a life-long affiliation. In 1961 he joined the Museum of Anthropology at the University of Arkansas, and in 1963 he became a member of the anthropology department at the University of Missouri, from which he retired in 2001, though he remained active in historical research.
During his career he was involved in archaeological and historical work in Missouri and in each of the states that touch the Missouri River. His work was largely historical for his last three decades, during which time he specialized in Lewis and Clark and their predecessors; the explorations of Prince Maximilian and the products of his artist-companion, Karl Bodmer; early mapping of the Missouri River; and studies of the Native Americans that lived along the Missouri, especially the Mandans and Hidatsas in present North Dakota.
He was active in the Society for American Archaeology, the Plains Anthropological Society, and the Missouri Archaeological Society, serving a term as editor of each of their journals. He was a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Society for American Archaeology, and the Distinguished Service Award by the State Historical Society of Missouri and the Plains Anthropological Society; he also received honors from societies in each of the other major states in which he worked.
Among his books are “Prologue to Lewis and Clark” (University of Oklahoma Press, 2002), “Karl Bodmer’s Studio Art” (University of Illinois Press, 2003), and “The Memoirs of Archaeologist W. Raymond Wood” (University of Utah Press, 2011). In 2013 he and Robert Lindholm received the Wrangler Award from the Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City for the book, “Karl Bodmer’s America Revisited.”
He leaves his wife, Carolee Ramey Wood; his son, D. Eric Wood; and daughter, Marigene Holtkamp of Columbia. He was preceded in death by his parents; his son, Elbert Stanley; his brother, Elbert Stanley; and two sisters: Marjorie Mary Behrens and Dorothy Elaine Cowan.
Contributions in memory of Dr. Wood can be made to the W. Raymond Wood Opportunities for Excellence in Archaeology Fund, Department of Anthropology, 112 Swallow Hall, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211. Due to COVID-19, a memorial service will be held at a future date.
Arrangements are under the direction of Parker-Millard Funeral Service and Crematory; 12 East Ash Street, Columbia, Missouri, 65203; 573-449-4153. Condolences may be left online for the family at www.ParkerMillard.com.