Kerry M. Wood

Retired English teacher Kerry Michael Wood, a Palo Alto resident from 1960 to 2000, died July 2, 2019, at his home in Pleasanton with his wife and sons at his side. He was 81.

Born in Long Beach, California, Kerry attended St. Anthony High School. He graduated from Yale University in 1959 with a bachelor’s degree in English, and earned a Master of Arts from San Jose State University. During a two-year enlistment in the U.S. Army, he studied Russian at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California.

During his nearly 40-year teaching career, Kerry presided over classrooms at Menlo School, Robert College in Istanbul, Turkey, Ravenswood High School in East Palo Alto, and finally Woodside High School. Also an author and co-editor of several widely-used English and American Literature textbooks, his greatest academic passions were classical to early modern poetry, particularly the works of Shakespeare.

Kerry loved sports, both as a participant and as a fan. As a young man his bespectacled 6’3” frame was often seen on beach volleyball courts in his native Southern California, and he played center on his high school basketball team. In later years he developed a booming tennis serve, and eventually a well-practiced golf swing.

He was predeceased by his parents Homer and Lillian Williams-Wood and brother Kevin G. Wood. Kerry is survived by his beloved wife of 55 years, Sally (Durand) Wood of Pleasanton; sons Brian Wood of San Francisco and Derek Wood of Los Angeles; grandson Hale Durand Griswold Wood; daughter-in-law Caroline Griswold; sister-in-law Carol (Dennerlein) Wood and nieces Christi (Wood) Flentie and Ali (Wood) Lamberson of Redondo Beach, California.

His family plans to hold a private memorial.