George Roland “Tex” Wood, 73, Woolwine, Va., died Monday, March 16, 2020, in the burn center at Wake Forest Baptist Health from complications after being burned at his home Jan. 16. He has family in Carteret County.

At his request, his ashes will be scattered on his beloved Belcher Mountain near Woolwine. This will take place as part of a memorial celebration at a later date, which will be announced.

Tex graduated from Duke University in 1971, earned a Master in Fine Arts from University of North Carolina at Greensboro and spent much of his career teaching English literature to high school students, sailors on U.S. Naval ships and at the college and university levels. He also worked in television news and print journalism. A Vietnam veteran, he was a published poet and spent many hours in his apple orchard on Belcher Mountain, to use his words, “making apples.” He advocated for ballot access in Virginia, and his seven-year court battle resulted in the reduction of signatures required to run for public office in the commonwealth.

He is survived by a son, George R. Wood Jr. of Asheville; a sister, Sarah Jo Safrit of Beaufort; two brothers, the Rev. W. Reed Wood Jr. of Salisbury and D. Michael Wood of Summerfield; a half-sister, Julia R. Wood of Greensboro; and a stepbrother, Stephen Russell of Climax.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Patrick County Public Library, P.O. Box 787, Stuart, VA 24171.

When once asked by the librarian in Stuart to complete a comment card to forward to the board of supervisors as part of a funding request, his reply, which remains on the librarian’s desk today, was pure Tex: “A community without a library is a cesspool.”

Online condolences may be made at

(Paid obituary)

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