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After circling the sun 76 times, Robert L. Wood, Jr. of Des Moines, Iowa passed peacefully surrounded by family October 16, 2020 after succumbing to heart ailments. Rob was born December 22, 1943 in Des Moines, making it his lifetime home where he raised a family, started his own business, sold real estate and did what he loved doing most: being the head men’s soccer coach at Drake University.

He graduated as an accomplished athlete from Saydel High School where he made life-long friends and soon after joined the Iowa Air National Guard. He married former wife Kathleen with whom he had his family and began his fence-building business. Rob suffered a devastating workplace accident in 1976 and after recovering became a real estate agent. Shortly after, he took up coaching youth soccer where his true passion and future career were ignited.

An inductee of the Iowa Soccer Association Hall of Fame, Rob started the college men’s programs at Grand View College and Drake University and also headed the Valley High School program in its first several years. While coaching at Grand View he earned his B.A. in History. He and Frances married in 1996 and two years later, he retired from coaching and joined Next Generation Realty.

As long as Rob and Fran were together, they were having fun – they simply delighted in each other’s company. They enjoyed regular walks, attending church, making each other laugh, visiting with friends and family, telling their love story, going on adventures in and around Iowa - feeling lucky to find a Chinese restaurant. Of their many travels the highlight was in 2018: a 35-day, seven country tour of Europe, capped off by a cruise up the Danube River.

Although he knew the rare disease would progressively take its toll and cut his years short, he resolved to challenge himself daily, accomplish as much as possible in the time he had and was a remarkable model of discipline, resilience and positivity. To no one’s surprise, he made sure to cross skydiving off his list two years ago this month.

The family thanks his cardiologist Dr. Akrivi Manola and his internist Dr. Austin Baeth and their nurses and staff for excellent, heartfelt care.

Rob was loved immensely and leaves many to cherish his memories: wife Frances, sister Judith Coleman, Uncle Virgle Sluder, nephew Rodney Wood (Cindy), children Peter Wood, Jenny Wood (Denise) and R. Nathan Wood (Johanna), grandchildren Calvin and Naomi Wood, step-children John Potts (Genevieve) and Leigh Samp (Jeff), grandchildren Matthew and Alyson Potts and Jonah Samp, numerous cousins and dear friends from all eras of his life. He was preceded in death by his parents Metilda R. and Robert L. Wood, Sr.

Memorial contributions can be made to the American Heart Association or the National Kidney Foundation. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you treat someone you love to dinner and think of Rob, Bob, or Coach Wood.

Rob’s viewing is from Noon to 2pm, Thursday, October 22, 2020 at Hamilton’s on Westown Parkway, 3601 Westown Parkway, West Des Moines, Iowa, followed by a service starting at 2pm. The family requires that all in attendance wear masks and maintain 6 feet of physical distance. Due to covid restrictions, no reception will be held.

Service Details

Visitation:
Thursday, October 22, 2020
12:00 - 2:00 pm
Hamilton's on Westown Parkway
3601 Westown Parkway
West Des Moines, Iowa
Service:
Thursday, October 22, 2020
2:00 pm
Hamilton's on Westown Parkway
3601 Westown Parkway
West Des Moines, Iowa
Disposition:
Hamilton's Crematory
Des Moines, Iowa
Arrangements:
Hamilton's on Westown Parkway
3601 Westown Parkway
West Des Moines, Iowa 50266
(515) 224-0078

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