Charles O. Wood, III

Charles O. Wood, III, of Sarasota, Florida and formerly of Cambridge, Massachusetts died of natural causes on November 26, 2021. Known as “Chas” throughout his life, he was born in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania and educated at Mercersburg Academy, Philips Exeter Academy, and Yale University. From 1969 through 1986 he was chief executive of T.B.Wood’s Sons Company. His second career, which he particularly relished, he described as one-third business, one-third philanthropy, and one-third “affairs” that involved extensive travel, study, and collecting art. He was also active in the non-profit sector, and over the years was on the boards of a number of arts organizations, including Winterthur Museum and Gardens, Boston Celebrity Series, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and the Sarasota Orchestra. Friend to men and women of all ages, Chas inspired trust, love, and affection that followed him through life. He is survived by his wife, Miriam Mason Wood, his sister, Emilie Wood Robinson, his brother, David S. Wood, and nieces and nephews.

A private memorial for the family will be held at a future date. Donations in Chas’s memory may be sent to the Sarasota Orchestra Development Office, 709 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota FL 34236.

In late May, we received the following from Chas’s good friend, Ted Stebbins:

The Chas Wood obit doesn’t do justice to him. Chas was a driven guy, and after he sold the family business, his aim seems to have been to enlarge on his Yale education.

He did everything with great ability and determination. He and Mimi had a glorious apartment in London for a decade; it was filled with splendid English art and antiques.

Once he had mastered English art, he sold the apartment and its contents, and never looked back. That was his pattern.

In the early 2000s, Chas served on my visiting committee at Harvard. Without his great generosity, I could never have been able to found and endow a new department of American art. In the same years, he built a terrific collection of American early 20th century painting with my help; he was a thoughtful and discerning art lover, and the art filled their Cambridge apartment. When that project was over, he sold everything and moved on.

He studied other fields with equal determination. When he decided to study Joyce’s “Ulysses,” he hired an assistant professor and worked with him on the book for a year.

When Chas decided to take up golf again (he’d been captain of the Exeter golf team), her hired a golf pro and played with him on courses around the U.S. and the world!

He was generous to the Gardner Museum and to many other cultural organizations in the Boston area. Chas was very close to his wonderful wife, Mimi, and his sister, but trusted few others. All in all, he was a good person, who led an unusual life!