1935 – 2019
Charles Courtney Wood was born in Chillicothe, MO August 29, 1935 to Charles L. and Evelyn Wood. He was raised in Fort Worth, TX and graduated from Arlington Heights High School in 1953. Courtney briefly attended and played football for New Mexico Military Institute before an injury ended his playing days. He then transferred to the University of Oklahoma where he was a member of Kappa Sigma fraternity and Army ROTC. Always a math whiz, he agreed to tutor the friend of a friend for her Economics class and she turned out to be the love of his life. He married Patricia Gardner from Oklahoma City on November 23, 1957. Shortly thereafter, he graduated with a business degree from OU and he and Patty moved to Houston, TX to begin his career in the insurance industry.
He started as an underwriter with USF&G in Houston, moved to their home office in Baltimore, MD and later transferred to the Oklahoma City office. He became an agent serving and selling to clients when he joined the Howell-Stone Independent Insurance Agency in Edmond. At various times, he also ran his own agency, was a Vice President with Marsh & McLennan, Inc. and served as an expert witness for many insurance related court cases. Courtney also volunteered in his industry to better the business serving locally in Oklahoma and advancing to become the President of the Independent Insurance Agents of America (IIAA), representing over 300,000 members. He spoke for reform and better legislation before United States Congressional Committees and met with national dignitaries during this work. He received many honors and awards for his contributions to the industry including the Eagle of Excellence Award and the Woodworth Memorial Award, the most prestigious of the industry. In 1996, after more than 25 years of efforts toward the technical arenas of the industry he was awarded the Matthew A. Cantoni, Jr. Technical and Risk Management Award. He was only the second person to ever receive this honor.
Throughout the time that Courtney’s career was flourishing, he was also giving back to his community as an educator and a volunteer. He taught classes for over 20 years at Central State University, the University of Oklahoma and a variety of insurance schools. Additionally, he received wide acclaim as a speaker and author of dozens of insurance-related articles. As a volunteer he served on the Board of Trustees and as an Elder at The First Presbyterian Church of Edmond and was installed as a Stephens Minister. He also received the John G. Tower Distinguished Alumni Award from Kappa Sigma Fraternity and the George L. Cross Award from the University of Oklahoma. He had a special place in his heart for the YMCA and was Chairman of the Board of Directors, spear-headed many capital campaigns and was elected an Honorary Board Member for Life.
Shortly before turning 65, Courtney suffered a massive stroke which left him with debilitating consequences that he lived with for his last 19 years. He learned to compensate for his speech deficiencies by using a flipbook. He might not be able to say the word he wanted, but he could flip to it and show you. He suffered mightily but rallied and began a crusade for stroke awareness, leaving brochures and information at businesses and organizations throughout Edmond. It was during this time that he volunteered with the Oklahoma Heart Hospital and Edmond’s Hope Center.
During his later years, Court lived at Touchmark Senior Living and he continued to bless others with his gregarious personality and a ready smile on his face. The family wishes to express our gratitude for the excellent and loving care that Court received during his many years living at Touchmark.
Courtney went to be with the Lord and his precious Patty on Wednesday, February 6, 2019. Survivors are his children, Pam Saylor and husband Mark, and David Wood and his wife Lisa, all of Edmond. His grandchildren are Kim Saylor and her husband, Doug Vrooman of Seattle, WA, Adam Saylor and his wife Katie Saylor, Blake Saylor, Brad Wood and Jack Wood, all of Edmond and a great grandchild, Caleb Vrooman.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggest a contribution to YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City, 500 North Broadway, Suite 500, Oklahoma City, OK 73102. These funds will be dedicated to an Edmond project in the future.
A memorial service will be held at 4:00 p.m., Tuesday, February 19, 2019 at First Presbyterian Church in Edmond, OK.