Bobby Eugene Wood, known to everyone as Bob, was born December 22, 1931 in Lubbock, Texas to the home of Vera (Morgan) and George Washington Wood. He passed peacefully from this world to a better place on November 22, 2021 in Clovis, NM.
During the years from 1934 to 1938, Bob and family lived in the small communites of Floyd, NM and then Dora, NM where he started school in 1937. They moved to various places in Texas during the war years and afterwards headed to Portales, NM in 1944 joining other family members already established there. Bob's growing up years spent in these farming and ranching communities formed his lifelong interest in agriculture and his love of the outdoors. Excelling in sports and academics, he graduated from Portales High School in 1949 and went on to attend Eastern New Mexico University for three semesters. In January of 1951, Bob joined the Air Force, was stationed at Bergstrom Air Force Base in Austin, TX and spent four years as an air crew member in B-29s; first as a gunner and then as an in-flight refueling specialist. Shortly after joining the Air Force, Bob married Patricia Stafford on May 12, 1951. Both daughters, Katha and Debra, were born during these Air Force service years. Following his discharge, he returned to his studies at ENMU and completed a Bachelor's degree in 1956 majoring in biology. He was accepted into a Master's program at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee but decided to change his life direction and enter the world of business and finance. He accepted a job at Security Finance in Portales and also attended night classes at ENMU. In 1962, he received his Masters degree in Business Administration. In 1967, he resigned from Security Finance as Executive V.P. and opened a men's clothing store, The Village Squire. In 1969, he sold the men's store and accepted a position as Vice President at First National Bank in Portales. During his 18 years with the Bank, Bob served as Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer. In addition, he was appointed to serve in the New Mexico State Senate in 1971 and then was elected to serve in the same capacity from 1972-1980.
Bob had a fun sense of humor and was a mentor to many, an avid outdoorsman, and a skilled craftsman. A member of the Church of Christ, he loved and faithfully served God, his family, his country, his state, his county, and his hometown.
The following is a statement in his own words written sometime in the 1990s...
"Along the way in the 60's, 70's, 80's we went there and done that...literally scores of boards, drives, committees, clubs and organizations; including 10 years as New Mexico State Senator from Roosevelt, Curry and Chaves Counties (two years as majority whip). When we retired in 1987, we retired from it all (except Pat who works with the Roosevelt General Hospital Auxiliary) I hunt and fish a little, we play a little golf, we travel (been to all 50 states and a foreign country or two).
We've been wonderfully blessed and we're deeply grateful. We live in a neat town that has been really good to us and in the greatest country on earth.
That's all folks...and probably more than you wanted to know."
Bob is survived by Pat, his wife of more than 70 years; two daughters, Katha Burke and Debra Elwood both of Clovis; four grandchildren: Ashlee Moreno, Joel Burke and wife Raffaela, Lindsay Elwood and husband Joe Goetz, Cooper Elwood and wife Chelsea; great-grandchildren include G.K. Goetz, Ellen Wren Elwood, Bodhi Kai Burke, and one great-granddaughter Goetz due to arrive around December 22, Bob's birthday. He was preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Margaret Ann Trotter.
A come and go reception in memory of Bob will be held on Saturday, December 11th from 2:00-4:00pm at the Wells Fargo Bank, 316 West 2nd Street in Portales. Pat, Katha, and Debra invite all to share your stories of Bob with them in person or if unable to attend, please send your written memories to Pat Wood, 4701 North Prince Street, Apt. 137, Clovis, NM 88101.
Those desiring to make memorial contributions may send them to the New Mexico Christian Children's Home, 1356 NM 236, Portales, NM 88130.