John Everett Wood, a professor emeritus of Mechanical Engineering at the University of New Mexico and a driving force behind the cleanroom that opened there in 2001, died after a short illness on January 6 surrounded by family members at UNM Hospital. He was 74.
John was born in Washington, DC on May 2, 1949, to Everett Eugene Wood and Edna Irma Wood (née Portwood). The family moved to Gallup in 1966. He graduated from Gallup High School in 1967.
John earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Design and Economic Evaluations from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He worked as a professor of Bioengineering at the University of Utah early in his career and later returned to New Mexico to become a professor of Mechanical Engineering at UNM, where he was the director of the Manufacturing Engineering Program for nearly 30 years. In the late 1990s, he spearheaded the creation of the Manufacturing Training and Technology Center at UNM including a 6,200-square-foot cleanroom for semiconductor manufacturing, which prepares students to work at companies such as Intel.
John was an enrolled member of the Northern Arapaho Tribe of Wyoming. His many interests included IndyCar racing, Chaparral cars, working on his extensive train layouts, attending Rolling Stones concerts, weekend trips to Gallup and riding his bicycle on the Bosque trail.
He is survived by his wife of 42 years, Elyse Wood (née Jones), daughter Lindsay Wood, her partner Peter Rice, son Barry Wood, his partner Callie Black, brother Douglas Wood, sister Charlene Delaunay and granddaughters Ava and Alexandra. He was preceded in death by his parents and brother Dana Wood.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, January 20th, at 2 pm at French's Funeral Home (7121 Wyoming Blvd).
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: Arapaho Educational Trust Fund, PO Box 920, Fort Washakie, WY 82514