In Memory of Peggy Wood

Peggy Jean Hope Wood
June 01, 1933 – February 05, 2024

Peggy Jean Hope Wood, 90, passed away on February 5, 2024. She was the daughter of the late Rufus M. Hope and Verla Hope Anderson. She was born in Caldwell County, NC on June 1, 1933, and graduated from Granite Falls High School.

A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, February 13, at 11 am at First Presbyterian Church, Greenville, where she was a member for more than 65 years. The family will receive friends in the Fellowship Hall immediately following the service. Interment will be private.

Peggy was preceded in death by her parents and both of her children, Timothy and Jay Wood. She is survived by her loving husband of 68 years, Fred, whom she married on Thanksgiving Day in 1955, her grandsons, Austin and Aidan Wood, daughter-in-law, Kristie Wooten, brother, Melton Hope, and sister, Terri Phillips. She has several nieces.

Peggy earned degrees from Lees-McRae Junior College, Emory University, and East Carolina University. She taught public school for eight years before accepting a position in 1968 with East Carolina University as chair of the Department of Health Information Management in the School of Allied Health Sciences. She remained at ECU until she retired as professor emeritus in 1996. During her time at ECU, she was very active in professional activities, serving as President of both the North Carolina Health Information Management Association (1974-1975) and the American Health Information Management Association (1985). She had multiple published articles in the Journal of the American Medical Record Association or other professional journals: 1) “Striving for Better Patient Care, Higher Goals: The Medical Record Student At East Carolina University,” 2) “Our Heritage – A Foundation to Build on,” 3) “Professional Self Image,” 4) “Why Would I Want to be an AMRA Member?” 5) “Progress Report,” 6) “The House of Delegates,” and, 7) “Focus ’86 -A Year of Action.” She had over 40 professional presentations throughout the country. She presented numerous workshops on an individual’s right to his/her medical information to civic and community groups.

She received East Carolina University’s Outstanding Teacher Award twice, 1980-1981 and 1982-1983; the North Carolina Health Information Management Association’s Distinguished Member in 1983; The Order of the Long Leaf Pine Award bestowed by Governor Jim Martin in 1986; and was the News and Observer’s Tar Heel of the Week in 1988. She received the East Carolina University Outstanding Adviser Award in 1991; the American Health Information Management Association Distinguished Member Award in 1993; and, a Certificate of Merit from the National Academic Advising Association in 1994.

Her family, her church, her friends, and her students were the loves of her life. She loved her family unconditionally. When called upon, she was always ready to help at church, and could often be found volunteering in the church office. Working jigsaw puzzles and playing bridge were two of her favorite pastimes. She loved to plan trips for her family and friends, and she traveled all over the country. It was rare that Peggy went out in Greenville that she did not see a former student. She loved telling stories about her time at ECU. Her passion and love of her students was obvious and the feeling was mutual from recent statements from graduates, “such a wonderful life lived and such a powerful role model she was,” and, “a life well lived and a legacy to be proud of.”

In lieu of flowers, please consider memorial gifts to First Presbyterian Church, 1400 South Elm Street, Greenville, NC 27858 or to the Peggy H. Wood Scholarship within the ECU College of Allied Health Sciences by visiting give.ecu.edu/peggywood or by check made payable to the ECU Health Foundation with Peggy Wood Scholarship included on the memo line, and mailed to the ECU Health Foundation, PO Box 8489, Greenville, NC 27835.

During the service, there will be reserved seating for Mrs. Wood’s graduates.

NCHIMA expresses eternal gratitude for the pioneering contributions of Mrs. Peggy Wood. Her dedicated service to NCHIMA, AHIMA, ECU, and the HIM profession will resonate across generations. We appreciate the remarkable legacy she leaves behind. Our deepest condolences and sincere thoughts are with all those touched by the remarkable life she led.