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Evelyn Starkey Wood

Evelyn Starkey Wood, 84, of Cedar Falls, died peacefully at Sartori Memorial Hospital on May 9, 2008, in the company of her long-time friends.  She was an Associate Professor of English (Emeritus) and the loving wife of the late Stanley Wood, UNI Professor and Director of Theatre.

Evelyn was born in Huntington, West Virginia, on June 26, 1923, to Hattie (McWhorter) and Erna Starkey.  She earned a B. A. (summa cum laude) from Marshall Unrversity in 1944.  After completing training at the Naval Reserve Midshipman's School in Northhampton, Massachusetts, she received her commission as an Ensign in fhe WAVES, in December 1944.  She trained to be a Cryptographic Securily Watch OffIcer, and was assigned to the Code Room of Radio Washington until 1946.  After her Navy service, she attended the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where she received an M. A. in English Language and Literature in 1947.

Evelyn moved to Cedar Falls in 1947 to begin her teaching career in the English Department of UNI.  During her tenure, she also served as chairperson of the UNI faculty.  At UNI Evelyn met her future husband, Stanley Wood, and the two were married on May 23, 1950.  After taking thirteen years off to raise her two sons, she returned to the English Department in 1965, where she taught until retiring in 1992.

Evelyn's love of travel began after her first trip to Europe in 1947.  During their marriage, she and Stanley led several theatre tours of England and Greece.  After Stanley died in 1976, she spent several summers in London, visiting museums and attending plays.  After retiring, Evelyn traveled with friends to Alaska, Russia, Israel, Greece, England, and Scotland, and in 1994 she traveled to France for the 50th anniversary of D-Day.

Evelvn Wood was a well-loved and active member of the Cedar Falls commununity, playing a key role in raising funds for the Hearst Center for the Arts and the Oster Regent Theatre.  She was also an active member of St. Luke's Episcopal Church, AAUW, and the Democratic Party.

A devoted patron of Theatre UNI, Evelyn appeared on stage in productions of the Cedar Falls Conmunity Theatre.  In April 2008, at the thirtieth annivesary of the Strayer/Wood Theatre, Evelyn was honored with a standing ovation from scores of alumni and friends.

She is survived by her two sons, Douglas of North Haven, Connecticut, and David of Nevada City, Californla; daughters-in-law Margaret Tivnan of North Haven, Connecticut, and Deborah Barron-Wood of Nevada City, California.  She is also survived by four grandchildren, Fiona Wood of North Haven, Connecticut, and Jeremy, Erica, and Benjamin Wood of Nevada City, California; sister-in law, Betty (Wood) Hall, and niece, Deborah Hall, both of California.

A memorial Eucharlst service willl be held at the Strayer/Wood Theatre on the UNI campus on Saturday, May 31, 2008, at 2 o'clock.

In accordance with her wishes, Evelyn's body was donated to the University of Iowa Medical School for medical research.  Inurnment willl take place later at Ridgelawn Memorial Park in Huntington, West Virginia.  Memorials may be given to the Evelyn and Stanley Wood Scholarship Fund of the UNI Foundation, 205 Commons, Cedar Falls, Iowa 50614, or to St. Luke's Episcopal Church.  The Dahl-Hove-Schoof Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.  Online condolences may be left at

Copyright Waterloo Courier, May 18, 2008, page B8.

Rod Library Special Collections and University Archives 
University of Northern Iowa 
Cedar Falls, Iowa 50613-3675 
Telephone: (319)-273-7295
Fax: (319)-273-2913 


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