Wood Van Lewis | Robinson Daily News
Robinson Daily News

Wood Van Lewis

Posted on June 8, 2022


Chicago, Oct. 23, 1942 - Ill. — Apr. 27, 2022Dr. Wood Van Lewis, 79, died peacefully Wednesday, April 27, 2022 at his residence in Chicago. Wood was born October 23, 1942 in Robinson, Illinois. He was the elder son of Kent Van Lewis and Mary Frances (nee Howe) Lewis. Following graduation from Robinson High School in 1960, Wood continued his education at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. During that time, Wood enjoyed attending the Lyric Opera, dining at Italian Village and imbibing at Old Town Ale House with friends who remained close to him for the remainder of his life.

Upon graduation from Northwestern, Wood worked as a social worker in Chicago for several years. He then obtained his medical degree from Chicago Medical School, after which he did an internship in internal medicine at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia and his residency in internal medicine at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. He later joined the Indian Health Services and spent several years providing essential medical services on the Navajo reservation in Chinle, Arizona.

Thereafter, Wood made his home in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He took a position in the emergency room at St. Joseph Hospital, where he worked for many years and made lifelong friends. Years later he started his own medical practice, the Center for Occupational Medicine. After selling his practice, Wood took a part-time position in the urgent care at the University of New Mexico Medical Center and later worked weekends as an internist at the New Mexico Cancer Center. When Wood retired, he made a second home in Chicago to be close to family, friends and his Robinson roots. He moved fluidly between Albuquerque and Chicago, and enjoyed vacationing in Italy, visiting family and friends across the country, and spending his summers on his farm in Robinson.

Wood was a gentleman and a scholar, a devoted son, a loving brother and uncle, a loyal and generous friend, a compassionate physician, and a brilliant diagnostician. He loved biking, skiing, traveling, growing tomatoes and hops on his farm, spending time on his Lake Powell houseboat, and entertaining friends and family. He was an avid Cubs, Bears and Bulls fan, a voracious reader, a talented pianist, an incredible cook, an adventurer, a traveler, and an engaging conversationalist. He had a sophisticated eye for art, a profound love of jazz and architecture, and a deep admiration for the performing arts. He was kind, had a keen sense of humor and a gentle wit, and took a personal interest in everyone he met, particularly his great niece and nephew, to whom he devoted the last decade of his life. Wood will be dearly and forever missed by all those fortunate to know and love him.

Survivors include his mother, Mary F. Whittinghill, Chicago, Illinois, niece and husband Keely V. (nee Lewis) Wise and David C. Wise and their children Stella and Benjamin Wise, Chicago, step-sister and husband Darra and Gerald Knott, Columbus, Ohio, step-brother and wife Frank Thomas Whittinghill III and Jody Whittinghill, Dallas, Texas, sister-in-law Kathleen Lewis, Robinson, step-nephew and wife Brent and Megan Knott, Sarasota, Florida, step-niece Ashley Knott, Columbus, step-nephew and wife Matthew and Ashley Knott and their children Hadley and Gemma Knott, Columbus, step-niece and husband Christina and Jadd Masso and their daughter Ivy Masso, Dallas, step-niece and fiancé Allison Whittinghill and Christopher Overton, New Orleans, step-niece Deborah Cashmore and daughters Kendall and Georgia Cashmore, New Zealand. Preceding him in death were his father, Kent, and younger brother Larry H. Lewis.

A Celebration of Life will be hosted in Chicago on August 6, 2022. Details will be provided on a later date. Memorial contributions can be made to Lincoln Trail College, Northwestern University and Chicago Medical School, Wood's charities of choice.

"A thing of beauty is a joy forever: its loveliness increases; it will never pass into nothingness."

- John Keats

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