The Pearly Gates have a new greeter with a big smile and a handshake.
Leo “Mr. Georgetown” Wood • August 3, 1940 – October 2, 2022
Willis Leo Wood was a husband, father, leader, and food and fellowship organizer. But to most, he will always simply be “Mr. Georgetown.”
The former mayor of Georgetown and Steak Fry founder was laid to rest October 13. He is mourned by his family, friends, and many, many more in Central Texas. He was part of that generation that becomes more and more rare with each passing year—a man who put down roots and lived his whole adult life in one place, building and nurturing the place and people to the benefit of all. His only request was that his friends would “keep it going.” Following are a few eulogies that reflect the authentic and loving character of a man without whom Georgetown may just have been another exit on IH-35.
I met Leo at a Boy Scout fundraising breakfast and, immediately, I felt like I found a friend. He came to Georgetown in 1969, made friends immediately, took charge of this city, and took it to places with a vision of where he wanted it to go. But there were little moments like when he was a baseball coach and noticed a young man’s shoes were worn out. He cornered him and told him, “Go down and see [department store owner] Harry Gold and tell him I sent you to get some new shoes.” He came out with brand new shoes. That was Leo, always asking, “How can I help?”
~ Councilman Ron Garland
All of us have Leo Wood stories; there are thousands of them. Once, when coming back into the United States at Niagara Falls, the border guard asked where I was from and I said, “Georgetown, Texas.” The agent behind him said, “Do you know Leo Wood?” I said “Yes.” He said, “Go ahead then. I’m from Georgetown and everyone knows Leo Wood.” He could put deals together like no other and had an uncanny ability to build networks while making lifelong friendships. ~Joe Savage
He’s shaking hands with everyone in heaven.
~Dr. Mike Douglas, Exec. Dir.
Georgetown Neuroscience Foundation
God grants us a certain number of heartbeats to use in our lifetime. I’m privileged and honored that Leo would use up one of his on me. I’ll make sure not to waste it away but grow it. The two most meaningful teachings Leo left me were humility and friendship. Whomever I encounter I’ll be sure to share these qualities with them. Leo, I’ll always cherish the heartbeat you gave to me.
~August Alvarado, Deputy Chief of Staff for Rep. John Carter
The brightest part of my day any time I came to Georgetown was when I ran into Leo. He could find something to relate to no matter how big a stranger you were. Leo Wood was my friend and I can look around the room and know that would be the first thing everyone here would say about him. He radiated friendship. He was city manager, mayor—the people everyone complains to but he never let it get him sour and he always treated people with respect and friendship. He always won the battle because that’s the way you do it. We can all learn from the life of Leo Wood. He was always relating to the people around him in a pleasant manner, and he was friendly no matter what they did. Even when they went in to have a battle with him, they walked out saying, “I like that guy.” If we could all have that in our life, we’d all be better off.
~Congressman John Carter