January 11, 2022

Carol Jean Wood

A celebration of life memorial service for Carol Wood will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 28, 2022 at First-Plymouth Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, 2000 D St. Lincoln, NE. Family visitation will occur following the service.

Carol Jean (Erdman) Wood, Lincoln, NE, entered eternal rest January 7, 2022, having recently celebrated her 97th birthday with family. Carol was born on December 25,1924 to Adolph and Florence (Ocker) Erdman in Sioux Falls, SD. What a special day it was for her parents and four siblings to have their very own ‘Christmas Carol.’ From that day forward Carol’s life has been a gift to all who knew her. Growing up in Sioux Falls, she cherished her childhood home and classmates, many of whom became life-long friends. After graduation from Washington High School in 1942, Carol worked at the airbase until the end of WWII. In 1946 she continued her education at the University of Nebraska; she was a member of the Gamma Phi Beta sorority.

On February 14,1948 she married her sweetheart, Albert Ernest Wood at the First Congregational Church in Sioux Falls and together this loving couple raised three children. In 1968 the Wood family moved to Schuyler, NE where Carol was a member and deacon of the Presbyterian Church; she was active in Presbyterian Women’s Fellowship, Schuyler Book Club, Garden Club, Civic Club, Golf Club and a sister to PEO Chapter HG. In 1984 Al and Carol retired in Sun City, AZ where they remained active in their church and volunteering in the community.  Carol completed several community college courses in AZ, writing her autobiography, “Everything’s Coming Up Roses,” aptly titled to reflect her positive attitude toward life. She served as a deacon at Faith Presbyterian Church in Sun City and continued to live a life of faith, finding refuge in the Christian values and beliefs she had forged in her Stephens Ministries studies. In 2005 the couple moved to Lincoln to be closer to family.

Carol’s talents unfolded with each role that life presented her converting her youthful aspirations to be a dancer into choreographing the roles of wife, mother, aunt, neighbor, and friend with her unique flare. She used her artistry to provide for and nurture her family and its many extensions; cooking, sewing, drawing, writing, knitting, entertaining and most importantly comforting.  Being in the company of family and friends was where Carol was happiest. Carol and Al both treasured their families and the many friendships they made wherever they lived. She enjoyed a serious game of bridge, cards, or board games, traveling, writing letters, and conversation.  A willing participant and up for any challenge, she was “game for anything” be it badminton or hula hoops.

Preceded in death by her parents, siblings, husband, and in-laws, she leaves behind a legacy of love with her family: daughters, Deb Duval (Gerald Tessin), Lincoln NE; Teresa (Curt) Mentzer, Yankton SD; son, Drake (Connie) Wood, Lennox SD; grandchildren: Chad (Sherri) Duval, Amy (Cliff) Carlson, Lincoln NE; Melissa (Troy) Millea-Wood, Skip (Amanda) Wood, Queen Creek, AZ; Max (Jen) Mentzer, Omaha NE; Alex (Lisa) Mentzer, Sam Mentzer (special friend, Angelic), Chicago IL; Great-grandchildren: Kelty, Jack, Will and Josh Duval; Heath, Hannah Carlson; Rex Wood; Miles, Weston and Lilian Mentzer; numerous nieces, nephews, and relatives.

Memorials can be sent to The Miracle-Ear Foundation Gift of Sound fund at

Arrangements for service and inurnment provided by Wyuka Funeral Home and Cemetery.




  1. Carol was a neat lady and special friend to our mom Vi. My condolence to your family.

    • Thank you, John. I would imagine Vi and Carol each with their Dakotan homelands left behind when they moved to Schuyler found common roots to ground them. The Presbyterian church was about the only familiar territory in town for the Wood family and both your mom and dad made us feel very welcome. So glad they became friends.

  2. Like another child of December 25, Aunt Carol brought a spirit of joy to all who met her. For us this is a great loss but for Uncle Albert, his smile is lighting the sky like the Aurora Borealis! God Bless you, Carol!

    • Patrick,
      Thank you for your tribute to Mom and to her merry spirit. A constant on her list of gratitude was the family she had around her throughout her life. Being a mother gave her great joy, but being an aunt was just so fun! I imagine she was greeted in heaven with smile after smile, but front and center was her beau, beeming! Love never ends.

  3. Aunt Carol was one of the good ones. She had a smile and a laugh that made us laugh. Our times at the lake and Christmas gatherings are where I spent the most time with Aunt Carol. She was gracious with a fine sense of humor, impeccable taste in cookies(Yes, Yes cookies) and a quirky sense of color as displayed in the cabin. I’m grateful to have known her.

    Until we meet again. Hugs, Lori

    • Dear Lori,
      Thank you for sharing your memories of Mom. I know some of her fondest memories were of times at the cabin at Lake Madison and Wood Christmas gatherings. We talked about them often and she never took for granted how lucky we all were to share them . I am glad you felt connected to her, and enjoyed her humor and wit; we tend to find in others our own traits.;). You will have to shed some light on the cookies and the quirky color choices next time we meet up.


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