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An early memorial for two great educators
by Larry Wilson
May 03, 2011 | 600 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Although Memorial Day isn’t until the end of the month, I think it only fitting that I share some memories of two fine gentlemen who recently passed from our midst: Dr. Milton Glick, president of the University of Nevada, Reno, and Mr. J. Wood Raw, retired educator and former principal of Dilworth Middle School. Both deserve remembrance for several reasons.

I didn’t have the pleasure of ever meeting Dr. Glick and am somewhat embarrassed as I thought he was sort of a goofy old guy who was just biding his time until retirement from the university. My attitude about the man changed shortly after my daughter graduated from UNR in 2010.

For whatever reason, at my daughter’s graduation, we hadn’t gotten a good picture of her receiving her degree from Dr. Glick. Shortly after graduation, she called him up and made an appointment to go to his office and have a better picture taken of the event. Not only did he take the time for the picture, but he sat and chatted with her for a while about her college career and her plans for the future. It truly was a personal and heartfelt experience for my daughter and one that really impressed me, as well.

I didn’t think too much of her going up to have her picture taken with Dr. Glick until his recent death. Many people who came out of the woodwork to praise him for all the efforts he took to get to know the students at UNR, how he would walk around the campus and greet random students making them feel welcome. I was impressed. The University of Nevada, Reno was his and he loved to share it with anyone who would listen to him.

When I went to UNR I knew who the president of the university was and that was it. We never saw him for any reason. He seemed about as aloof and apart from the student body as a god, though we didn’t think of him as a god surely.

I truly am sorry for never having met Dr. Glick and for having the thoughts about him that I did. I truly do believe now that we have lost a great man. Dr. Glick, wherever you are, please forgive me for having those thoughts of you and thank you for your kindness to my daughter.

I first met Mr. J. Wood Raw when I was in the seventh grade at Sparks Intermediate Junior High School in the late 1950s. He was my wood shop teacher. Although my own father taught wood shop at Northside Junior High School, he never taught me any woodworking skills, mostly because we didn’t have a shop at home.

Before Mr. Raw would let us build any projects in wood shop we had to make several wood joints for him and make them to virtual perfection – at least as we saw it. It seemed like I worked on those stupid joints for centuries. I finally got them to the quality that Mr. Raw wanted and I went on to make a bowl and a bread board before my days of wood shop were through. As time went on, Mr. Raw’s demeanor in class changed from strict to amiable. He truly loved seeing people do their best in his class. He enjoyed the pride everyone seemed to have in their projects.

As the years went by I occasionally would see Mr. Raw around town. He knew I was a teacher and had flown helicopters in the Army. I think he liked that. I knew he was a teacher and later a vice principal at Sparks Intermediate Junior High School, which later became Dilworth Middle School as the former was closed. He became the principal at Dilworth when the former principal, Roy Gomm, retired. I learned in later years that he had flown helicopters in the Air Force in the very early days of their use in the military.

J. Wood Raw had a sense of humor, as well. I worked with him at Dilworth Middle School with Katherine Dunn’s sixth graders in the ’84-’85 school year as a modular building was constructed at Katherine Dunn Elementary School.

On pay day, Mr. Raw would put on roller skates and skate through the halls of Dilworth delivering paychecks and stubs to the staff during classes. It was a perfect time to skate as there was no one in the halls during class time.

I always envied his skating escapade on pay day. I would have liked to do that as well. Maybe it’s because we both were a little crazy having flown helicopters and all.

In any event, we all lost a gem of a man when we lost Mr. J. Wood Raw. He was a neat guy who truly loved teaching and kids.

In fact, we have lost two gentlemen lately who both loved teaching and kids, Dr. Milton Glick and Mr. J. Wood Raw. Our world is better for having had them with us for the time we did on this earth. Godspeed, gentlemen.

Larry Wilson is a 50-year resident of Sparks and a retired elementary school teacher. He can be reached at
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