Les, also known as Herb, Papa, and Big Old PaPa was born on April 24, 1918 in Indian Lake, the son of the late Laura Wood Hammond and the late Elvis E. Wood. He spent his early childhood in Indian Lake then grew up in Glens Falls, graduating from Glens Falls High School in 1936. He delivered the newspaper while attending school, then worked in the local clothing industry before being accepted into the apprentice program at General Electric in Schenectady. He was there when he enlisted in the Navy, following the Pearl Harbor attack.
He trained at Samson Naval Training Base and at Naval Station Great Lakes, and then participated in securing Tinian Island in the Northern Mariana Islands. As a Naval Storekeeper, he was responsible for maintaining stores of engines, airframe components and all other parts needed to keep aircraft operating from what became the biggest air base in the world during World War II.
After the war, Les returned to GE in Schenectady, where he met Jean M. Pulver, whom he married on June 7, 1947 at Christ Church United Methodist in Glens Falls. At GE, he was part of the very first Value Analysis team using principles and practices that have since grown into an entire branch of engineering focused on reducing the cost of achieving a required function in a manufactured or constructed system. Les, a Free and Accepted Mason of the Beukendaal Lodge in Scotia, retired from GE in 1980 and he and Jean built their retirement home in Hudson Falls. They enjoyed cruising northern Lake George, Schroon Lake and Indian Lake in their powerboat and travelled the country in their pick-up camper but they were always home for the fall leaves and balloon festival. Les particularly enjoyed hunting the mountains of the Big Brook and Cedar River sections of Indian Lake, as well as fishing the brooks, ponds and lakes in the Town of Indian Lake where they also maintained a get-away cabin. Where ever he was, Sunday night was Popcorn Night at PaPa’s and all of his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren were invited.
Jean died on their anniversary in 2011. Les was also predeceased by his son Curtis E. Wood.
Survivors include his sons, James L. Wood and his wife Kathryn of Hudson Falls and David A. Wood and his wife, Jody of Georgetown, ME. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Bret J. Wood, Eric D. Wood and his wife, Christine and Laura J. Van Dien and her husband, Mark as well as six great grandchildren, Madison E. Wood, Ella K. Wood, Mason E. Van Dien, Austyn V. Van Dien, Rowan M. Van Dien and Ryan C. Wood.
A Memorial Service will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, November 15, 2017 at Carleton Funeral Home, Inc., 68 Main Street in Hudson Falls, with the Rev. Michael Bailey, officiating.
Burial with full military honors will follow at Pine View Cemetery in the town of Queensbury, where he will be laid to rest next to his wife.
The family suggests that memorial donations be made to High Peaks Hospice and Palliative Care, 79 Glenwood Avenue, Queensbury, NY 12804.