Derek Wood – Community Champion

What a week this is turning out to be. Tragedy is never far away as we all know, and Today here in Wednesfield North we will mourn the passing of one of our Community Champions.

Derek Wood of Ashmore Park, one of the finest Volunteers we have here in Wednesfield North, passed away on Tuesday. His family is heart-broken in losing a wonderfully caring Grandfather, Dad, and Uncle. But this huge family loss is also felt in our wider community.

Derek with his beloved Patricia (Ann to all of us here!) was a huge character, for decades. Derek gave his time to others, in Bilston and here in Wednesfield.
Derek also gave his time to other community Groups, the Community he lived in, and to other individuals and organisations across Wednesfield and Wolverhampton. I want to remember him as he was when he was in his pomp!

He was a big cheerful character, always a big laugh! He liked bands and music, liked to enjoy the performance of Marching Bands, always playing jokes. He had a very serious side to him as well. He was very socially aware, he got angered when I talked with him about inequalities.
Derek and Ann were very much a community team.

Our vibrant and active Community Association, will be devoid of that strong voice Derek bought to the events. His personal generosity to the organisation and to individuals. In short, the Derek I knew here in our community, was a very fine individual. Only in November we presented Derek with a ‘Community Excellence Award’ because of his huge commitment to our community.

I for my part will miss his ‘pep talks’! The criticism he gave, the praise, the ‘word in your ear!’ Oh yes, he could scold. He could make his point with a flash of anger to go with it! But he also had a big smile, I want to remember his laughter, the fact that he would sit and chatter for ever on a good day.
Derek you were a big asset to our community, you gave your time to lots of people. Giving time is perhaps the most valuable thing that anyone can give. We all have a short time on this earth. You and your darling Wife gave that valuable ‘personal time’ commodity to others by the bucket load.
Rest in Peace Derek.

This time is now your own – You have played your part here on earth, with distinction, and made the communities you lived in a better place through all your activities.

Mary and I wish to offer our deepest Sympathy and Condolences to the Wood family and friends.

Phil Bateman

Phil Bateman is Married to Mary and lives in Wednesfield North. He was a long serving local politician having served previously on the now defunct West Midlands County Council... read more