Obituary of Thomas Wood (1951–2022) – Bellingham, WA

Thomas Holz
September 16, 1951 – January 5, 2022
Bellingham, Washington – Thomas Wood died at home on the snowy night of January 5, 2022. He was born on September 16, 1951 in Richland, Washington to Betty and Zane Wood. Turning a hobby into a business, his parents started a nursery where Tom worked and developed a love of gardening. In high school he met his partner Pamela Brownell. They started college together at WSU. In 1973 they embarked on a long journey to Europe and North Africa, where they were inspired by artworks in museums such as the Prado in Madrid, beautiful adventures in the Alps of Yugoslavia and exotic Morocco.
When Tom returned to school he switched from studying chemistry to fine arts and finished school at Fairhaven College, WWU. In 1976 he bought an etching press. It was a big step in his lifelong focus to express his creativity in a constant stream of prints, drawings, paintings and sculptures. He studied drawing and more with Tom Sherwood, who was a lifelong mentor to him. He learned oil painting in John Cole’s company. Tom’s craft and vision were also heavily influenced by endless hours in art museums, particularly during long stays in Florence, Italy.
At home, Tom spent his days moving between his lush garden and his studio, tools at hand: brush, pickaxe, etching needle, trowel or drawing pencil. Tom loved the company of many friends, colleagues and family. He valued and cared for others and willingly shared his thoughts on their work and vision. Every year there were camping and sailing trips, hiking trips with his wife and often fellow artist Allen Moe. Paint outside, draw, watch birds, identify plants.
Tom’s etchings and paintings range from fantastical allegories to naturalistic landscapes, and he often fused the two worlds. His art and life are expressions of an honest and inquiring spirit, a playful spirit quick to joke, a deep appreciation of nature and a boundless imagination. In all his works he paid attention to beauty. Tom will be greatly missed.
Thank you Hospice for your great care and wonderful nurses. And thank you to family and friends who have been kind and generous in so many ways.
A memorial service will be held in the spring. Donations can be made to the Whatcom Land Trust. To share memories of Tom, please visit

Published by Bellingham Herald on February 6, 2022.


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