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W. Peter Wood

SHARON — Whitfield Peter Wood passed away on July 20, 2018, at the age of 72. 

Born in Boston, Mass., the son of Dorothy (O’Neill) and Whitfield Piccioli Wood, Peter’s family settled in Gray, Maine, in the 1940s. 

A purposeful child, Peter worked during junior high summers picking beets at Hansen’s Farm (now Pineland Farms) and at the Mobil Oil Service Station in Portland throughout high school. At the age of 13 he became Maine’s youngest Eagle Scout, a distinction publicly recognized by then-Gov. Edmund Muskie. 

Peter attended Cheverus High School as a lad “from the country,” knowing only one or two people there. He quickly won the respect of his peers and coaches with his serious attitude toward academics and enthusiastic participation in extracurriculars. Although basically shy, over time he became one of the most popular students in the school, culminating in his senior year, at age 16, with being class president and the recipient of the Brother Stubbert Award for Most Industrious Student. His friendships at Cheverus lasted a lifetime, right up to his final hours.

Upon graduating with a degree in Business Administration from Boston University in 1967, Peter worked for Mobil Oil prior to acquiring Community Fuel in Sharon, and later owning Mobil Service Stations and car washes. 

His generous civic contributions were legendary over the decades, managing Red Cross blood drives and organizing two trips with food and clothing for the people of Roatan, a small island off of Honduras. 

A Boy Scout leader from 1970-75, Peter initiated newspaper drives as a way for the troops to raise money to purchase canoes and outfit the boys for excursions to the Allagash Wilderness Waterway in Maine. 

As a Rotarian, he originated an annual fundraiser that also beautified Sharon; every storefront that contributed $100 to Rotary had a balsam fir placed in front of their business, with awards for the best decorated.  

Long-time chairman of the Sharon Country Club Golf Committee, his passion for the sport led him to courses the world over. 

In addition to golf, Peter regularly enjoyed squash, canoeing, cycling, alpine skiing, backgammon, shooting, horse racing, piloting his Piper Cherokee and traveling with his family.

Peter relocated to Maine in 1999, first to Stonington then back to Wood Acres’ with its show-stopping gardens, well-fed birds and the always-pleasant company of his revered mother, Dorothy. 

He greatly enjoyed numerous trips to Ireland and visits to his brother Dennis’ family in Port St. Lucie, Fla. With his great affection for all animals, Peter was dedicated to the Friends of the Maine Wildlife Park in Gray, where for 18 years he volunteered Tuesdays at the gatehouse, and also served as the board’s exacting treasurer. 

In addition, he was the welcome wingman at the Village Bakehouse, and an invaluable assistant to the New Gloucester Farmers’ Market. Also a (winning) Sox fan, Peter liked to have a pint or two at J’s Oyster and Parker’s, and throughout his lifetime quietly cultivated a community of loyalty with his genuine support of many through his friendship.  

He is survived by his daughter, Caroline Wood, and apple-of-his-eye grandson Alexander; his son Whitfield Peter Wood; and his brothers, Christopher Wood and wife Tara and Dennis Wood and wife Barb; his niece and nephews; and his “other” family, Brianna Hughes and husband Christopher Mishoe,Preston Hughes and wife Kasey and daughter Penelope, Connor Hughes, and wife Courtney and their mother, Anne McCormack, steadfast companion and great friend.  

A funeral Mass will be held at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, July 31, at St. Gregory’s Catholic Church in Gray. Peter’s life will celebrated this fall at the Maine Wildlife Park, date to be determined.

For those wishing, memorial donations to the Friends of the Maine Wildlife Park may be mailed to  P.O. Box 1231, Gray, ME 04039.