Music 01

William "Bill" Robert Wood

January 20, 1937 ~ July 27, 2022 (age 85)


             Funeral services for William Robert Wood, 85, of Portales, will be held at 2:00 P.M., on Monday, August 1, 2022, at the First United Methodist Church with The Rev. Damon Stalvey officiating.  Vince Sandoval, Ryan Wood, Patrick Sandoval, Andrew Sandoval, Tylor Pullen and Peter Basmajian will serve as pallbearers.  The members of the Kiwanis Club will be honorary pallbearers. The family will receive friends from 4-6 PM on Sunday, July 31, 2022, at Wheeler Mortuary.

            In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the ENMU Foundation at and comment Friends of Music in memory of William R. Wood or to First United Methodist Church Portales Music Memorial Fund.

            William Robert Wood was born January 20, 1937 in Abilene, Kansas to  Charles James (Jim) and Gladys Alverna (Romberger) Wood and died on July 27, 2022, Lubbock, Texas .  He lived and attended school in Enterprise, Kansas until 1950 when the family moved to Abilene and where he graduated from Abilene High School in 1955.  He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in music from Westmar College in LeMars, Iowa in 1959, a Master of Science degree in piano from Kansas State University in 1961, and his Doctor of Philosophy degree in elementary music education from the University of Oklahoma in 1979.

 He married Ruth Marie Bernhardt on August 20, 1961 in El Dorado, Kansas.  They moved to the Denver area where he taught elementary school music in the Jefferson County Schools.

            In 1968 he joined the School of Music faculty at Eastern New Mexico University, Portales, where he taught elementary music education, piano, organ, handbells and several other courses. He served as Director of the School of Music for four years and later as Graduate Coordinator.  He retired as a professor of music in 1999 after 31 years with the university.  In 2005 the ENMU Foundation named him a Distinguished Faculty Emeritus professor.

He was a member of the Portales Kiwanis club for many years, serving as president, secretary, and program chair.  He was an active member of the First United Methodist Church in Portales.  He enjoyed singing in the choir, directing children’s choir, and was the church organist for several decades.  He also started the handbell program at the church in 1980.   

            His handbell choirs became an important part of his life, playing not only at church and ENMU, but also on tour for trips to area and national handbell festivals.  He held several positions with national handbell associations and founded the Eastern New Mexico Handbell Festival event from 1993 to 2011.  He was inducted into the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers Ring of Fame in 2010.  Bill also arranged a number of published handbell compositions including a best seller, “The All American Hometown Band.”

             In retirement Bill and Ruth traveled extensively in the U.S and Europe and he enjoyed genealogy work.  He loved and cherished his family, his church family, and his many friends.

            He was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Bonnie Lou Wood.  Bill is survived by his wife Ruth of over 60 years; a daughter Julie Wood and her husband Peter Basmajian of Danville, CA; a son Chris Wood and his wife Karla of Portales, NM; and a daughter Carol Sandoval and her husband Vince of Albuquerque, NM.  His beloved grandchildren are Amanda Pullen and her husband Tylor, Ryan Wood, Janay Summers, Andrew Sandoval, Patrick Sandoval, and Taryn Wood.  He has two great-grandchildren Korbyn Pullen and Norah Pullen.

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July 31, 2022

4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Wheeler Mortuary, Portales

Funeral Service
August 1, 2022

2:00 PM
First United Methodist Church (Portales)

Video is available for this event

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