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The Wood way: James Wood recognized for lifetime of service

By Austin Jackson | Published Saturday, February 23, 2019
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SETTING THE EXAMPLE – James Wood and his wife, Shirley, receive a United Way lifetime service award from Wise County United Way Executive Director Martin Woodruff Thursday night at the Decatur Conference Center. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Wise County United Way recognized James Wood with the lifetime service award at its annual meeting Thursday night.

In front of a packed house, which included Wood’s family, WCUW president Mike McQuiston said Wood set a strong example for servant leadership, through his generosity with United Way and serving Wise County at James Wood Motors for more than 40 years.

Upon receiving the honor, Wood said the reward of living and serving in Wise County has been mutual.

“I hope I have been a benefit to Wise County, but I believe I’m the one who has truly benefited,” Wood said. “I’ve been blessed to be a part of this community. This is one of the best places in the world to live. It’s a wonderful place to be.”

Wood, a Decatur native opened a used car dealership in Decatur in the early ’70s and officially founded James Wood Motors in Decatur in 1978. For the past 41 years, he and his family have served North Texas, continually giving back to Wise County as the dealerships expanded.

WCUW Executive Director Martin Woodruff said it was an honor to recognize Wood and his family for their impact on Wise County.

“He really helped put Decatur on the map,” Woodruff said. “He’s the ideal example of someone who recognizes that his success in business is due a lot to the community, and he gives back. He’s been doing that for 40-plus years. I can’t think of a single aspect of community life that he hasn’t touched. There’s a whole lot of things and people he’s helped that nobody even knows about. To be able to recognize him here tonight is special.”

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