Former Altgeld Hall chimesmaster dies

By Jose Zepeda, Assistant Daytime News Editor

Dr. Susanne Wood, former chimesmaster for Altgeld Chime Tower, has passed away at the age of 85.

“Everyone who met Sue knew that she was tireless and engaging,” wrote former chimemaster Jonathon Smith, on a recent post on the Altgeld Chime Tower Facebook page.

Wood was born Dec. 28, 1933, in Buffalo, New York and went to the University of Buffalo, where she received a bachelors and a masters degree in biology. 

She moved to the Champaign-Urbana area in 1966 and obtained a Ph.D. in plant pathology at the University. She spent her career at the University working as a research specialist at the Illinois Natural History Survey.

Wood became Al Merien at the Altgeld Chime Tower in 1971 and later became chimemaster in 1994. She held the position for 23 years. She stepped down in 2017 due to declining health.

She is survived by her husband, Richard Bruce Wood and several cousins.

Altgeld Chime Tower is seeking former chime players to come together in order to create a memorial concert for Wood.

“She will be greatly missed by the players and the Champaign-Urbana community,” Smith said.

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