James Paul Wood
Wood, James Paul James Paul, Chef, born October 5, 1940, died October 8, 2019, just three days after his 79th birthday. Preceded in death by parents Ella and Luther, brothers William and Frederick. Jim is survived by Darlene his beloved wife and best friend of 40 years, and brother Donald (Kristin) of Maplewood, MN. "Jimmy" is also survived by many nieces, nephews, other relatives and many dear friends. Jim retired in March, 2017 after 60 years in the culinary industry. He started as a parfait boy in a Minneapolis hotel kitchen freezer and that was just the beginning. Jim always credited his knowledge and respect for food from the many international chefs he had the privilege of working with. If it wasn't right, it wasn't served. He worked as Sous Chef in the kitchens of Radisson and Leamington Hotels in Minneapolis. He went on to teach Culinary Education for several years at North Hennepin Technical College. He also worked "the front of the house" as Food & Beverage Director for Holiday Inn Corporation in the Twin Cities and Chicago. His creativity for buffets and presentations were sought after for numerous corporate conferences and social events. He decided to escape from the corporate world and purchased a restaurant. He owned and operated Trapper's Café in River Falls, WI for the next 2 1/2 years. Most of his 60 year career was in the hotel industry and corporate-owned kitchens but for the last 17 years he was Executive Chef and Dining Services Director for Christian Community Homes in Hudson, WI. He loved cooking for the all residents and visiting with them on a daily basis. Jim's talent went beyond his culinary work. As a teenager he played bass guitar in a local band that toured the US playing back-up for many 1950's and '60's rock stars. He recently took piano lessons to learn jazz and blues. And, just for fun, had a 1937 Ford rebuilt into a street rod. He also planned, designed and built three homes. Jim's favorite thing was cooking for his family. He especially loved using old family recipes for cabbage rolls, periogi, and many other recipes. Making homemade sausage with his brothers became a family tradition and the many stories of how this was accomplished. Jim was a quiet and kind man with a big heart who loved being with family and friends. He was proud of his life's work and it gave him great joy to create something as simple as a good meal to share with others. Memorial Gathering at 1PM on Sat., Oct. 12th at O'Halloran & Murphy Woodbury Funeral and Cremation Services, 8700 Valley Creek Rd, Woodbury. Memorial Service at 3:30PM. In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred to American Heart Association or National Kidney Foundation. O'Halloran & Murphy (651) 631-2727
Published on October 11, 2019
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