Bar News - April 6, 2007
Ralph H. Wood
Former NH Supreme Court clerk Ralph H. Wood died March 23, 2007. Wood, 77, was clerk and reporter of decisions and ran the court’s administrative office for more than a decade, until he retired in 1992.
Attorney Howard Zibel, Wood’s successor as court clerk, is quoted in a March 28, 2007, article in the NH Union Leader as saying that Wood helped to edit the justices’ opinions. Those opinions filled 14 volumes of the New Hampshire Reports. “He wanted the product of the court to be as good as possible,” said Zibel.
US Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter had high praise for Wood. “As long as Ralph lived, we could be sure that gentlemen were not extinct,” he said. Souter was an associate justice in the NH Supreme Court in the 1980s.
At the time of his death, Wood was living in Manchester, but he grew up in Amherst, Mass. He attended Harvard in 1952 and then served in the Korean War in the US Army from 1952-54. He graduated from Harvard Law School in 1957 and was admitted to the NH Bar, and resided in New Hampshire thereafter.
During his law career, Wood also served as legal counsel to Public Service of New Hampshire, eventually becoming vice president and general counsel.
Wood enjoyed cultivating bonsai and other plants, and was an avid hiker and member of the Appalachian Mountain Club.
He is survived by his longtime companion, Julia B. Munn of Manchester; his daughter Elizabeth and her husband of Chazy, New York; daughter Lynn Hayden of Manchester; son James Wood and his wife of Portsmouth; seven grandchildren; a sister and brother; and former wife Lorraine Wood, mother of his children.
On behalf of our colleague Ralph H. Wood, the New Hampshire Bar Association’s Board of Governors has contributed to the New Hampshire Bar Foundation, 2 Pillsbury Street, Concord, NH 03301.