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Newporter, 22, dies in fall

July 26, 2006|By Michael Miller

Spencer Wood, a longtime Newport Beach resident and graduate of Newport Harbor High School, died in an accident last week near San Luis Obispo. He was 22.

Wood, who graduated from Newport Harbor in 2002, was walking home from a concert at about 2 a.m. on Saturday when he fell into a ravine and hit his head. A history major at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Wood planned to graduate in December and had been working at a law firm in preparation for law school.

Before Newport Harbor High, Wood had attended Newport Elementary School and Ensign Intermediate School, being elected class president in both the sixth and 10th grades. During his high school years, he had worked at Gallo's Italian Deli and Promelis Westcliff Market in Newport Beach.

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His mother, Denise Wood, spoke to him last about a week before his death.

"He was just on top of the world," she said. "He said he was working about 50 hours a week and loving it."

Wood's mother and sister described him as a fun-loving, gregarious young man who flashed a quick wit and loved to surf and snowboard. Even though his family had moved to Kansas City recently, it still opted to hold a memorial service for him in Newport Beach. The gathering is planned for 11 a.m. on Thursday at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church.

"He had so many friends out there and he loved the ocean so much that it seemed like the right thing to do," said his sister, Marianne Wood.

Wood is survived by his parents, Denise and Richard Wood; sisters Stephanie Wood and Marianne Wood; grandparents Robert and Betty Wood, and Pete and Peggy Guignon, and many cousins, aunts and uncles.

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