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Quentin Eugene Wood (Woody), retired Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Quaker State Oil Corporation, a Fortune 500 company, Past Chairman of Penn State University’s Board of Trustees, and a Penn State Distinguished Alumnus of the class of 1948, died on February 25, 2023. He was 99 and lived in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.
Woody was a graduate of the remarkable class of 1948. Even among that very prestigious group, he was a model to all in his commitment to his country, his profession, and his university, all of which are better because of his intellect and personal engagement.
Born on March 5, 1923 in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, Woody later moved with his family to the State College area, where he graduated from State College Area High School in 1941. Woody continued his education at Penn State University. Like many of his classmates, Woody’s Penn State education was interrupted by World War II. After just two years of college, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps. Upon graduation from flight training and receiving his commission, he became first a flight instructor and then served in the Flying Tigers 14th Air Corps in China during the Second World War. He flew 25 combat missions for the Flying Tigers. At the end of the War, he returned to Penn State to complete his bachelor’s degree in petroleum and natural gas engineering from the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences.
Upon graduation, Woody started his career with Quaker State in 1948 as a field production engineer and rose through the ranks, becoming Vice President of Production and a member of the Board of Directors in 1968. After serving as executive vice president, then president, he became chairman and chief executive officer in 1982. He served Quaker State as chairman until 1990 and retired from its Board in 1993. Quaker State led the nation in the sale of motor oil before and throughout Woody’s career with the company. He served as chairman of the Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, the Penn Grade Technical Advisory Committee, and the Technical Advisory Committee to the U.S. Bureau of Mines.
Woody served as a member of several corporate boards, including Mellon Bank, TruckLite Co., Heritage Insurance Co., Minit Lube, Inc., and the Pennsylvania Manufacturers Corporation. He also was a member of the Ohio, West Virginia and Bradford District Oil and Gas Associations, a director of the American Petroleum Institute, and a member of the American Institute of Metallurgical Engineers.
Woody was elected to Penn State’s Board of Trustees in 1978 and served as President of the Board from 1981 to 1984. He continued to serve the Penn State Board until 1999, when he was elected Trustee Emeritus. He regarded his service on his alma mater’s board to be just as important, rewarding and fulfilling as his position as CEO of Quaker State. He was especially proud of have chaired and directed the Board’s Presidential Trustee Selection Committee, which established a University Presidential selection process that created a partnership between the Board of Trustees, Penn State faculty and others to guide the selection of highly regarded Penn State presidents for three decades. Woody, a perceptive man with keen intellect, understood the complexities of a modern public research university with ambitious goals and never abandoned his responsibility to counsel and lead the Board to decisions in the best interest of the University.
Throughout his life, Woody balanced his considerable life responsibilities with enthusiastic participation in a variety of hobbies including golf, tennis, gin rummy, duplicate bridge and travel all of which he enjoyed immensely.
In addition to his parents, Woody was predeceased by his beloved wife, Louise Lowe Wood, to whom he was married for 56 years, and a brother, L. Paul Wood, of Julian.
There will be no memorial service. Memorial contributions may be made to the Quentin and Louise Wood Football Athletic Scholarship, c/o the Chief Development Officer, 116 Old Main, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, 16802.
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