TRAVERSE CITY — James Ivan “Jim” Wood, 75, of Traverse City, a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, good friend and mentor to many, went to be with God on Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014. Jim passed away in the early morning at Munson Medical Center in Traverse City surrounded in love by his family.
Jim was born during the midst of the Great Depression in the Upper Peninsula on June 29, 1938, in Rapid River. As a young boy, after spending a hard winter living at a logging camp east of Munising, his family moved to Marquette, where he grew up and attended Bishop Baraga High School, lettering in basketball and baseball. During his high school years, Jim left home to attend the Salvatorian Seminary in St. Nazianz, Wisconsin, where he studied to be a Catholic priest for two years until choosing a different path.
After graduating high school in 1956 Jim joined the Michigan National Guard. During his stint with the Guard he was tapped to be in the honor guard for the opening of the Mackinac Bridge, an honor he was very proud of.
Jim attended Northern Michigan University for two years before enlisting in recruit school for the Michigan State Police in 1960. Jim’s service in the State Police took him to Ypsilanti, Munising, Sault Ste. Marie - where he provided service during the Detroit riots - and finally Traverse City.
It was in Traverse City that he met and married the love of his life, his beloved wife, Constance Mary “Connie” Kent. The two spent nearly 32 years together, all of which were wonderful.
He was a great story-teller and loved to regale his family and friends about his days and nights on patrol with the State Police. Jim retired in 1996 after nearly 36 years of service as a Lieutenant with MSP’s 7th District Emergency Management Division in Traverse City. Jim was so proud to belong to the Michigan State Police. He loved the organization, its people and all that it stood for.