Charles Wood, 85, commercial real estate broker

Charlie Wood knew a time when trees and brush covered the land that is now Lenox Square. The same goes for Phipps Plaza. He knew a time Ga. 400 was still being planned and all of the development to the east and west of the corridor didn’t exist.

“We saw it all go from nothing but forest, to what it is now,” said his wife, Gene Wood, of Atlanta. “We’d talk about it a lot too, being native Atlantans and all. We remembered a lot of the way it was.”

In 1958, Mr. Wood started a real estate career that spanned a half century. He initially worked for Hass & Dodd Realtors, but in 1965 he opened his own shop, Charles D. Wood & Assoc. The company served as an acquisition arm for developers, said his brother I.W. “Chip” Wood.

“We saw the turn from agrarian farmland surrounding both sides of the 400 path, as it was being developed,” Chip Wood said.

The brothers, who worked together for approximately four and a half years, helped developers purchase land in Alpharetta, particularly around what is now North Point Mall, Chip Wood said.

Charlie Wood was very happy with his work, his wife said. He loved it so much, he never let his real estate license lapse.

“As recently as six months ago we showed a house in our neighborhood to a friend,” Mrs. Wood said. “Charlie knew the listing agent on it, and we had great fun.”

Charles Dewey Wood, of Atlanta, widely known as Charlie, died Friday at home of metastasized cancer, his family said. He was 85. A family burial service is planned for Wednesday morning at Arlington Cemetery. A memorial service is scheduled for 1 p.m. Wednesday at The Church of The Apostles. H.M. Patterson & Son, Spring Hill, is in charge of arrangements.

Mr. Wood, born and raised in Atlanta, attended E. Rivers Elementary School and graduated from North Fulton High School. He was also one of the original Buckhead Boys, his wife said.

“Those Buckhead Boys were a big deal, and they’d have their reunions, but the girls weren’t invited,” she quipped. “Oh well.”

Mr. Wood served in the Army from 1944 until 1947, his wife said. He then used the G.I. Bill to attend the University of Georgia, but ended up taking his last few classes at Georgia State so he could get married, a union that lasted 61 years.

“He had me over here waiting, telling me we’ll get married in the fall, then it was the summer, then it was the next fall,” she said with a laugh. “I think he was having too much fun in Athens, but I told him he’d better get back here. I’d say I won that one.”

Mr. Wood’s love for his family ran deep, said his son, Charles Bryan Wood of Marietta.

“The stability of the family was incredibly important to him,” Bryan Wood said. “And because of that, the same thing is important to me. I had a great life with him as the head of our household.”

Bryan Wood said he’s thankful for the lessons his father taught him.

“I learned how to be assertive, but not antagonistic, I can be humble but not timid,” he said. “There are some really great qualities I got from him.”

Mrs. Wood said her husband’s love for their family is something that she will cherish forever.

“He loved God, family and country,” she said. “And we loved him.”

Mr. Wood is also survived by his daughters, Julee Wood James and Joan Wood Weaver and 10 grandchildren.