The Rev. Gregg Douglas WoodFebruary 1, 1941 ~ August 27, 2017 (age 76)
The Rev. Gregg Douglas Wood of Wawarsing, NY, died peacefully at home on Sunday, August 27, 2017. He was 76 years old. Gregg was born on February 1, 1941 in Stoneham, MA; he was the son of the late Harry and Edna (Bennett) Wood.
Gregg grew up in Winchester, MA, as a Unitarian. He attended Harvard University in Cambridge, and spent a year at the Harvard Divinity School. In 1963 he was baptized and confirmed in the Episcopal Church. He attended the Episcopal Theological School (now Episcopal Divinity School) from 1965 until 1967, graduating with an M. Div. degree. In 1968 he was ordained a priest in the Episcopal Church.
After a brief stint as a curate in Massachusetts, he was called to the Diocese of Long Island, becoming the rector of the Church of the Epiphany and St. Simon in Brooklyn in 1970. He served there until 1977.
In 1977 he married Jane Bertha Strunsky. From 1977 until 1979 he studied pastoral psychotherapy at the Blanton-Peale Graduate Institute in New York City.
In 1979 he became Director of Pastoral Care and Assistant Administrator of St. John’s Episcopal Hospital in Smithtown, L.I. There he created a model lay chaplaincy program that was published in a national journal and which he taught in seminars in many churches on Long Island. He was appointed Professor of Pastoral Counseling at the Mercer School of Theology in Garden City, L.I. in 1985.
In 1992 he left Long Island to join the Tri-County Episcopal Area Ministry (TEAM,) a yoked ministry of five churches scattered over three counties in the Catskill Region of NY State. In 1995 the TEAM churches separated, and Gregg became priest-in-charge of one of them, St. John’s Memorial Church in Ellenville, NY, which he served until his retirement in 2001.
Gregg was a Fellow of the College of Chaplains and a member of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors; a member of the Harvard-Radcliffe Club of the Hudson Valley; a member of the Monday Club of Episcopal clergy; a member of the Town of Wawarsing Democratic Committee; a member of the NAACP of Ellenville; and a member of the Historic Preservation Commission of the Town of Wawarsing.
In retirement he was working for the past three years as part-time priest at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Greenwood Lake, NY.
Gregg was proud of having served as rector, interim, or supply priest in about 75 churches over the course of his ministry. He was proud of having been on the March on Washington and hearing Martin Luther King, Jr. deliver his “I Have a Dream” speech. He was proud of having stood up against the War in Vietnam. And he was proud of having stood up for civil rights, women’s rights, gay rights, and union rights in the many churches he served.
Gregg is survived by his wife Jane (Strunsky) Wood; his daughters Lisa Wood and her husband Greg Gabel, and Paula Wood and her husband Joshua Wallach; his sister Diane Butterworth and her husband Tom; his first wife Pamela Smith; his brother-in-law Mark Strunsky; four grandchildren, Samuel and Milo Wallach ,and Samantha and Tommy Gabel; his niece Kellie Lang, and niece and nephew Nora Strunsky Adams and Morgan Strunsky.
Gregg was predeceased by his sister Norma Wood and brother David Wood.
Memorial visitation will be held on Wednesday, September 6th from 4-5 p.m. with a celebration of his life immediately following at 5 p.m., at Christ the King Episcopal Church in Stone Ridge, NY. Burial of his ashes will be on Thursday, September 7th at 11 a.m. in Fantinekill Cemetery, Ellenville.
Contributions may be made in Gregg’s name to the Rondout Valley Food Pantry at Christ the King Episcopal Church, 3021 State Route 213 East, Stone Ridge, NY 12484; or to the Ellenville First Aid Squad, 1 Webster Ave., Ellenville, NY 12428.