Neil Wood, 89

Neil LaVern Wood, 89 of Broken Bow, died Feb. 5, 2012 at the Heritage Hall Nursing Home in the Jennie M. Melham Memorial Medical Center in Broken Bow. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Broken Bow and the Masonic Lodge in Broken Bow. His greatest joys in life were his family, playing golf, and ranching.Neil L. Wood was born Aug. 20, 1922, to Walter and Edna (Downey) Wood at Kearney. He grew up in on his father's ranch on the South Loup River, in Custer County. He graduated from Sumner High School in 1941. Upon graduation from high school, he attended Kearney State Teachers College. After the beginning of World War II, Neil enlisted in the U.S. Army in early 1942.He married Betty L. Greutman Feb. 6, 1943, in Laramie, Wyo., where he was serving in the U.S. Army Signal Corp. Neil later transferred to Wheeler Barracks in Honolulu, Hawaii, where he served until early 1946. At the conclusion of World War II, Neil and his wife, Betty, made their home on the Wood Ranch, south of Broken Bow, where they lived for 32 years. They raised Hereford cattle and Quarter horses. They moved to Broken Bow in 1978, due to his wife's health problems. Betty Wood passed away April 16, 2002. Neil married Shirley Westerlin in August 2004. Survivors include his second wife, Shirley; one daughter, Cheryl Ryan and her husband, Mick of Minden; one son, Walt of Omaha; four grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.He was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife, Betty, and one sister, Maxine Shelly of Denver, Colo.Funeral services were Feb. 8, at the Broken Bow First Presbyterian Church, with the Rev. John Gallentine officiating. Burial was at the Kearney Cemetery.Memorials have been established to the Broken Bow First Presbyterian Church and the Heritage Hall.Govier Brothers mortuary of Broken Bow is in charge of the arrangements.Published in Custer County Chief, Feb. 9, 2012