U. S. Navy Retired / E5
James Broward “JB” Wood, 81, of White City passed away peacefully at the Cross Shores Nursing Facility in Port St. Joe on Saturday, October 26, 2019.
JB was born November 22, 1937, in Altha, Florida, to Charlie and Eva (Bennett) Wood. He attended school in Port St. Joe until answering his nation’s call of duty and joined the United States Navy. JB met the love of his life - Barbara Jean Walstead, while stationed in Key West; he and Barbara married June 4, 1963, and a year later they welcomed a son, Charles J. “Charlie” Wood, who later blessed them with two grandchildren, Julie and Zachary.
JB’s military service required relocation of the family every 4-6 years in areas from Key West to San Diego, and then to Pearl. He and Barbara loved traveling to all the new places and enjoyed spending time with new friends at each location. After retiring from service, JB worked for and retired from the Department of Transportation, and he also served as bridge tender for the local draw bridges.
JB was such a jokester, prankster, and storyteller; he enjoyed socializing and sharing his old war stories, special memories and experiences with people. His happy place was sitting in the rocking chair on the front porch at Cross Shores, figuring that from this vantage point he could get his daily dose of fresh air while interacting with staff and visitors as they went in and out of the care center. He touched many lives at Cross Shores during the past few years. Initially, he won the hearts of the staff as they observed his daily visits and care for Barbara. His selfless devotion and commitment to Barbara revealed his true character. Later, when JB himself chose to enter the facility, he further developed special relationships with the administration and staff who worked feverishly to care for his needs throughout his stay at Cross Shores. JB also loved western movies and strong coffee, and he always wanted just a few more sprinkles of garlic on whatever he was eating at the time. Sweetly, the staff provided JB with good, strong coffee and, because he would not be outdone, he kept them stocked in microwave popcorn.
JB was pre-deceased by his beloved parents and, most recently, Barbara in 2018, and a dear friend to him and Barbara from their Navy days – Chief. As expected, things were never the same for JB after Barbara’s passing. He is survived by his son – Charlie (Christine) of Kissimmee, FL; grandchildren – Julie and her husband – Greg (who JB affectionately referred to as “Boudro”), and Zacharie; sisters - Iduma Wingate and Eleanor (Jack) Strader and their families; and special friends – Freddie and Henrietta Branch and Buddy and Mary Lou Cumbie of White City.
A memorial service will be held at Cross Shores Care Center Saturday, November 16 at 2:00 EST. A private interment will take place at the family plot at a later date.