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Columbia Missourian

Robert Kinsey Wood, 27, was a fast learner, bright student

By Kaylie Denenberg
August 21, 2012 | 11:05 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — As a child, Robert Wood was involved with the Boy Scouts of America, and after dedicating several years to the program, he was awarded with the rank of Eagle Scout. He was even invited to be a member of the group's honor society, the Tribe of Mic-O-Say, open to campers who prove their leadership abilities.

Sometimes he danced for the tribe's festivities.

"He loved it so much," Valerie Wood, Mr. Wood's mother, said. "He stayed for four summers working in the kitchen."

Robert Kinsey Wood, 27, of Columbia died Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012, in his home.

Mr. Wood was born Feb. 11, 1985, in Independence to James Douglass Wood and Valerie Ann (Brown) Wood. He was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at a young age.

Mr. Wood was a brilliant student. In first grade, he was moved into a gifted class. And in high school, the school's normal curriculum did not satisfy Mr. Wood's appetite for knowledge. He would take the tests for classes he was not enrolled in, and eventually became valedictorian of his graduating class.

“He was a challenge to keep busy because he learned so quickly. He loved learning, period,” Mrs. Wood said.

Mr. Wood was awarded a Bright Flight scholarship to attend MU, where he developed many interests. 

He was a resident adviser one year, participated in humans versus zombies and studied abroad in Italy. He also took up ballroom dancing and cooking. 

Mr. Wood graduated from college with honors and degrees in biological sciences and interdisciplinary arts. He also had a minor in psychology.

Mr. Wood had dreams of going to medical school.

But instead, after graduating, Mr. Wood stayed in Columbia to work, picking up part-time jobs in an effort to support himself. Most recently, he worked for Integral Resources as a fundraiser. He had only been there four months when he died but had already made positive impressions on his co-workers. 

“He made an impact as someone that everybody liked, we wanted him to move up. He was very motivated to do his job and to do it well,” said Paul Gordon, the director of the fundraising center.

Survivors include his parents, James Douglass Wood and Valerie Ann (Brown) Wood; four siblings, Catherine Marie Wood, Elizabeth Ann Wood, Mary Grace Wood, and James Andrew Wood; paternal grandmother, Rose Marie Randolph all of Adrian; maternal grandparents Kinsey Brown and Catherine Brown of Walnut, Calif.; aunt Maria Hommel (Brian) of Temecula, Calif.; uncle Kinsey Brown (Denise) of Glendora, Calif.; cousins Candace Tingley, Johnathon Tingley, Korey Brown, and Trish Brown. 

Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Atkinson Chapel with a Tribe of Mic-O-Say service at 6 p.m. Services will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Harrisonville under the direction of Atkinson Funeral Home in Adrian. Burial will be in Crescent Hill Cemetery in Adrian.

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