Adam Wood had always been a fan of small communities. The Uxbridge, Ont., native spent much of his time learning about local and sustainable living, and would spend his time pondering questions like: “How can you live well in your place?”
For Wood, the answer to that question seemed to include moving from Uxbridge to a remote community in northern Saskatchewan in September 2015 to teach at the local school. He was just starting his teaching career when it came to an untimely end.
Wood, 35, was one of four victims of a deadly shooting spree in La Loche. In the wake of his death, friends and family are remembering him as a hard-working, goofy and thoroughly selfless person.
“Our family, Adam’s partner, friends and community are devastated by the news that Adam Wood was a victim in the La Loche shooting,” his family said in a statement.
“Adam was quite an adventurer, had a passion for life, and would often make you laugh until your stomach hurt. He was always up for a good challenge and lived each day joyously,” it said.
Once part of the Sustainable Agriculture Co-op program at Fleming College in Lindsay, Ont., Wood spent two summers working for Roots to Harvest, a Thunder Bay-based non-profit focused on sustainable food practices, while attending Lakehead University. A member of the organization shared memories of Wood on Facebook, saying he was “a goofball . . . an old soul, [and] a pioneer at heart.”
“Being around Adam was uplifting — and I think that is an amazing impact to have on the world. There are some people out there that hold a light. Adam was one of them,” the post said.
Jon Wynn, who called Wood an employee of his on Facebook, said he would always remember Adam as a hard worker.
“[I] will never forget Adam working at Roots of Harvest on a Saturday afternoon in one of the most torrential rain storms pushing a wheel barrow with plants and veggies,” Wynn said in his post.
Sandra Bowdery-Wynn, who said Wood worked for her at a Thunder Bay outdoor clothing store, posted her condolences on Facebook as well.
“A more kind and giving person you could not have come across,” Bowdery-Wynn said in her post.
Wood also occasionally wrote in a blog he called “Northern Pioneer,” where he mostly talked about his efforts to live locally and sustainably. One of the last entries, dated Dec. 22, 2014, is a poem by Wendell Berry titled “Closing the Circle.”
“In the hold of hands and eyes we turn in pairs, that joining, joining each to all again. And then we turn aside, alone, out of the sunlight gone into the darker circles of return.”
– With files from Robin Levinson King