Toastmaster Tribute

Toastmaster Tribute

In memory of Past International
President Ted Wood, 1933-2007


In April, at the age of 74, former International President Theodore “Ted” C. Wood passed away at his home after a long illness. A loyal Toastmaster since 1966, he will be missed by all who knew him.

Ted Wood’s theme while serving as international president in 1986-87 was “Keep the Spirit Alive.” He kept that spirit for Toastmasters alive long after completing his tenure as president. A long-time member of three clubs in District 18 – Kritikos 1686, Meadeators 1746 and Maryland Advanced Speakers Club 5902 – he was named Toastmaster of the Year three times and received a Presidential Citation for his contributions to the organization.

Upon retiring from a lifelong career with the U.S. Department of Defense, Wood and his wife, Inez, moved to Davenport, Florida, where he started his own speaking business, Speak Up, founded Villa Toastmasters Club 4487 and joined Winter Haven Toastmasters Club 2104.

In an interview in the Toastmaster magazine, Wood said “a sense of discovery” was what kept his Toastmasters spirit alive through the years – discovering new educational programs, new leadership opportunities and new friends. Now many of those friends would like to pay their respects to their departed friend:

“Ted Wood introduced me to Toastmasters 40 years ago. We worked together, traveled together, did Toastmasters together. He was the kind of friend most people can only wish for.” 
            – Earl Warren, Kritikos Club 1686

“Ted Wood was an inspiration to me. Simply put, he was ‘Mr. Toastmaster’ – a true ambassador for the organization. He epitomized what Toastmasters is all about.” 
            – Jerry Smith, ATMS, Gahanna Ohio Club 8226

“Toastmasters has given me the opportunity to meet many fine people; however there are only a few who have a special place in my heart. Ted Wood is in that special place…[He was] a man of dignity, principle, fairness and integrity – a man who possessed the qualities of a true leader. He gave our organization the benefits of his sensible and solid guidance. Our organization will miss a great Toastmaster and I will miss a good friend.” 
            – Helen Blanchard, Past International President 1985-86.

“If the meaning of a person’s life is measured by the positive impact he has had on the lives of others, Ted Wood surely lived a magnificently meaningful life. Above all, Ted lived by example; he was a man of high integrity, great knowledge and understanding, and a fine sense of humor. I miss him deeply.” 
            – Dilip Abayasekara, Past International President 2005-2006

“Ted was a special leader, a champion of diversity who concerned himself with minority opportunities in Toastmasters. He touched countless people with his wise counsel and mentored many.” 
            – Bob Blakeley, Past International President 1976-77

“Ted Wood was a mentor who allowed me to think for myself. I have done the same for others.” 
            – Lydia Boyd, Past International Director 1987-89

“Ted was a true leader, one who inspired you to achieve your best. I will miss Ted’s humor, his guidance and his wisdom. I like to quote him often when I’m speaking about the virtues of Toastmasters to others. My favorite Ted quote is: ‘If you want to get all you can out of Toastmasters, you’ll never get out of Toastmasters.’” 
            – Beverly Learner, Winter Haven Club 2104

Ted Wood leaves behind a great legacy and many friends. He is survived by his wife, Inez, son, Russell, and brother, W. Norman Wood.

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