Richard Wood photo
Richard Wood

Richard Wood, son of Alvin and Dorothy (Hines) Wood was born March 27, 1956, in Wichita, Kan.  He passed away March 23, 2023, at the age of 66.

He was united in marriage to Linda Ayers on May 27, 1980, in Silver Dollar City Wilderness Church.

Until his sophomore year Richard attended school in Orion, Ill., where he excelled in music.  He won numerous awards at local, regional and state level, performing solo’s and as part of an ensemble and also a Madrigal group, He played piano and guitar for his own enjoyment.

The Wood family owned the Orion Times Newspaper. Richard learned to work at a very young age by performing many jobs at the paper. In 1974 he graduated from Gainesville (Mo.) High School.  While in school he worked with his dad doing remodeling and constructing Jim Walter homes.

After graduation he moved to Lebanon, Mo., and got into Food Service and also worked part time at a gas station. He transferred to Pizza Hut in Salem, Mo. When the Pizza Hut of Houston was built, he transferred to Manager position six months after it was opened.  In 1982, he transferred to another restaurant in Lebanon (Stonegate Station) owned by the same family.

Richard’s dream was to establish his own restaurant which he accomplished in July 1984. Pizza Express started where the Shell gas station now sits.   He added a second establishment next door and that was known as Chesterfried Chicken, the first free standing franchise at the time. It was where the original Pump and Pantry was located.

In 1989, Richard and Linda built a new building and relocated the business.  Covid was responsible for closing the dining room and since then the business has operated as carry out only.

Richard had a love for electronics. His two way communications business installed and serviced radios, lights, and sirens for Police, Sheriff and Fire vehicles and offices.  He built the first radio system for the Houston School system and buses which he was responsible for the last 25 years until Houston changed to a system from Springfield, Mo.  He also built the systems for several other schools in the area.

Richard was passionate about serving the community through Emergency Services. He joined the City of Houston and Rural Volunteer Fire Departments in 1981/82.  In addition to the responsibility of fire/rescue calls he served as Texas County Emergency Management Director,

City of Houston Assistant Fire Chief until sometime in the 90’s.  He remained as Assistant Fire Chief for the Rural Fire Dept until his death.

At the insistence of one of his best friends, Willy Adey, in 1994 he became a licensed Amateur Radio Operator.  He considered Willy Adey as a brother he never had.  He also gained a brotherhood and family through Amateur Radio.  Richard and three others formed the 49ers group in Springfield, Mo., that is dedicated to use of the National Weather Service.

It covers from Eastern Kansas, Joplin, parts of Oklahoma, Mid Missouri and Southern Missouri.

His hobbies and passions included serving the public and his family, being a member of the Fire Department, Amateur Radio, traveling, music and watching his daily religious devotionals.

He had the dream of when retiring from the restaurant to volunteer for emergency assistance wherever needed.

Preceding him in death his parents, Alvin and Dorothy (Hines) Wood; his Godparents, Robert

Jabben and Alberta (Hines) Jabben; father-in-law, Lloyd Ayers; mother-in-law, Mary Ayers; nephews, Jonathon Young and Eric McGuire; great nephew, Charles McGuire; and several aunts, uncles, cousins and many special friends.

He is survived by his wife, Linda of the home; two sisters, Jo (Mark) Seip of Johnston, Iowa, and

Jane (Jeremy) of Rogersville, Mo.; all of Linda’s siblings which he considered his brothers and sisters; many of nieces and nephews, as well as, special friends Willy Adey, Mike Blake, Brigitte Anderson, Don Collins, Gaylen and Jean Pearson, and Bernard Bargfrede.

A visitation for Richard is 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Wednesday, March 29, 2023, at Evans Funeral Home.  A funeral service follows at 2 p.m. with Bro. Ed Williamson officiating.  Interment is at Tyrone Free Will Baptist Cemetery.  Pallbearers are Damon Cernetisch, Skip Bloom, Michael Blake, James Ayers, Darin Brown, Greg Hinton, Joey Moore and Philip McGurie.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Richard’s name may be made to the Tyrone Free Will Baptist Cemetery, Houston Rural Fire Department or any charity of your choice. Arrangements entrusted to Evans Funeral Home, Houston. Online condolences may be left at


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