J. Lynne Wood, 53, began college paralegal program

March 18, 1996|By Sheridan Lyons | Sheridan Lyons,SUN STAFF

J. Lynne Wood, an attorney who worked in government before joining the Anne Arundel Community College faculty and developing its paralegal program, died yesterday of pancreatic cancer at her home in Arnold. She was 53.

On March 1, the student Paralegal Association at the college honored her efforts in a ceremony dedicating a collection of law books in her name the J. Lynne Wood Paralegal Collection saying she single-handedly built the program.

Beginning in 1987, Ms. Wood worked to change a few nonaccredited paralegal courses into a degree-conferring program. In 1993, it became the third in the state to secure full accreditation by the American Bar Association and the first with an ABA-accredited certificate program.

And when the department didn't have enough funds to stock the library, Ms. Wood persuaded law firms in Annapolis and Baltimore to donate used materials, including more than 500 case-law volumes, law encyclopedias and a set of the Maryland Annotated Code.

Born Lynne Myers in Montgomery, Ala., she was the daughter of an Air Force officer and attended schools throughout the South and in the Philippine Islands, graduating from McArthur High School in San Antonio.

She attended the University of Texas for two years before moving to Maryland in 1963. Twenty years later, she earned a bachelor of arts degree summa cum laude at the University of Maryland.

Before then, she cared for her family and taught elementary school. Beginning in 1971, she was a secretary for two state senators, then served from 1976 to 1979 as an administrative aide to the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee in the

Maryland General Assembly. From 1976 to 1982, Ms. Wood was an aide to Sen. John A. Cade, an Anne Arundel Republican. In 1983, she served briefly as a staff aide to then-Prince George's County Executive Parris N. Glendening.

After earning her law degree in 1986, she was a law clerk to Judge John J. Garrity of the Maryland Court of Special Appeals. She practiced law for two years in Baltimore before joining Anne Arundel Community College as a full-time faculty member.

"She is truly one of the best things to happen to the community college," said Michael O'Rourke, an associate professor and a private attorney who was on the search committee that hired Ms. Wood in 1987 to start the paralegal program.

Speaking at the recent dedication ceremony, Mr. O'Rourke described her as "a vibrant, dynamic, wonderful person who would do anything and everything for students."

In addition to teaching, Ms. Wood enjoyed sailing for more than 25 years. She and her husband, Donald C. Wood, recently enjoyed a trip to Newfoundland. Services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church in Severna Park.

In addition to her husband of 33 years, she is survived by a son, Andrew D. Wood of Annapolis; a daughter, Dr. Cynthia W. Huffaker of Baltimore; her parents, Johnnie Mae and Lt. Col. Graves T. Myers III of Summerville, Ga.; a brother, Lt. Col. Graves T. Myers IV of Fayetteville, N.C.; and two grandchildren.

The family suggested donations to the Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church Endowment Fund, 611 Baltimore-Annapolis Blvd., Severna Park 21146.

Pub Date: 3/18/96

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