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Updated 10:00 AM October 31, 2005




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William C. Wood, a former Photo Services photographer, died Oct. 14 after a three-year battle with early onset familial Alzheimer's disease. He was 38.

Wood (Photo by Paul Jaronski, U-M Photo Services)

Wood graduated with a bachelor of fine arts degree from the School of Art & Design in 1989. He was a staff photographer for five years and photo editor for two years for the Michiganensian yearbook. He also did freelance work, photographing many U-M sporting events. Many of his photos can be see in the Cottage Inn restaurant in downtown Ann Arbor, as well as other local establishments.

Wood worked for the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology as a photographer from 1990 until he moved to Chicago two years later. He continued pursuing freelance work and had photo credits in the Chicago Sun-Times and other local papers.

He returned to his home state in 1996, and was an assistant to the photographer of the Detroit Pistons until 1997, when he joined Photo Services.

He was a valuable member of the Photo Services team and was instrumental in developing and implementing marketing ideas to advertise the department, says Kim Haskins, Photo Services manager. He was one of the most requested photographers for events and athletics before his medical leave three years ago, she says.

Wood was diagnosed in April 2002 with Alzheimer's, but was determined to live life to the fullest. He achieved his goal of running in a marathon and enjoyed time with family and friends as a husband and father. He was a devoted fan of U-M athletics, especially football, and Major League Baseball. He rarely sat in the stands at University sporting events and always had a camera in hand. Family and friends recall trying to catch his eye while he was on the field.

All who knew him remember Wood as a fun, loyal and considerate friend and family member, often going out of his way to help people or to brighten their day. He never took the well-traveled road, often opting for the more unusual, interesting or fun route. He always believed there would be a cure for Alzheimer's in his lifetime.

Wood is survived by his wife, Marjorie, and the joys of his life, sons Matthew and Jason. He also leaves behind his parents, Charles and Janine, and sisters Julie (Stephen) Estey and Karen (Jeff) VanDeRyt. He was the stepbrother of Sharon (Paul) Hermann, Donna (Alan) Wallace, John (Belinda) Bokuniewicz and Brian Bokuniewicz. He also was an uncle to four nieces and two nephews and friend to many.

Bill's Team, comprising his family, friends and colleagues, will continue to participate in the Alzheimer's Association annual Memory Walk held each October in Gallup Park to help realize Wood's dream of a cure.

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