Norman J. Wood

May 25, 1939 – April 16, 2013

Norman J. Wood, 73, passed away peacefully Tuesday, April 16, 2013, at UW Hospital surrounded by his loving family.

Norm was born in East Troy on May 25, 1939, to LaMar and Mary (nee Maier) Wood. He graduated from Oconomowoc High School, where he was a three-letter athlete and prom king. While attending the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater he met his future wife, Kathy Downing. After Norm graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, he and Kathy were married July 31, 1965, in Watertown.

Norm’s career began with selling Baker’s Infant formula in Peoria, Ill. He then became a mortgage banker for Mercantile Bank. In 1969, the family returned to Wisconsin and he assumed the role of plant manager at Pabst Farms, Paoli. In 1971, he was hired by Marschall Products in Madison (which ultimately became Danisco), where he started in the labs and ascended to the role of national account executive in the Italian cheese area. In this role, he was instrumental in the development of the “Italian cheese seminar,” and garnered several industry awards. He also became known industry wide as “Mr. Italian Cheese” for his 34 years of service to the cheese industry.

Norm’s passions included fishing, hunting and bowling as well as watching Badgers and Packers games. He and Kathy also loved to travel, whether by plane, train, ship, motorcycle or convertible, one thing was sure, it usually included casino tours. He was a founding and charter member of the Jaycees in Peoria and Belleville, as well as a member of the Knights of Columbus.

Norm, who “never met a stranger,” had the ability to make you feel loved and good about yourself as evidenced by the many people who became “adopted” members of the Wood clan.

He is survived by his loving wife of 47 years and siblings, David L. (Mary) of Wausau; Mary Diane (Hugh) Montagriff of Grand Junction, Colo., and Kristine (Mike) Fitch of Phillips and their families. Additionally by in-laws, Barbara Fraser of Las Vegas and Pat Downing of Blanchardville.

He is further survived by his children and grandchildren, Amy (Michael) McCormick, and Megan, Devin, Shannon and Declan of Waunakee; Kevin (Lori) Wood, and Lauren and Addison of Middleton; David J. (Tonya) Wood and Ashley of Madison; and Derek (Dawn) Wood, and Kyle, Lindsey and Brandon of Waunakee.

He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Sandra.

A visitation will be held from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, April 22, at Cress Funeral Home, 3610 Speedway Road, Madison. Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday, April 23, at St. Maria Goretti, 5313 Flad Ave., Madison, with visitation service one hour prior.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Norman & Kathleen Wood Scholarship Fund at UW-Whitewater or a charity of your choice.

Cress Funeral and Cremation Service, 608-238-3434, is serving the family. Please share your memories at