Joseph W. Rood
Biography: Joseph "Joe" William Rood was born on Mar. 22, 1920, to Elon B. and Ellen Gertrude Fuller of Bradenton, Florida. He graduated from Manatee High School in Bradenton and went on to the University of Florida where he was an All-American in swimming. He graduated in 1941.
Service Time: Joe entered the service and was assigned to the 774th Tank Destroyer Battalion. He served as A Company Commander and distinguished himself by his courage and determination. On Dec. 9, 1944, while in Germany and making preparation for an assault on strong German fortifications, Capt. Rood entered a town, which was swept by enemy fire, alone to make a reconnaissance of enemy installations and locations for his guns. In doing so, Capt. Rood was painfully wounded but refused attention until he had briefed his subordinate commanders and completed all preliminary phases for the attack. Not only did he receive a Purple Heart for his wounds but he also received the Silver Star for Gallantry in Action.
After the war, Joe returned and married the former Christina "Tina" Tompkins on Dec. 1, 1950, in Seale, Alabama. She was the daughter of Thomas Plant and Alice Catherine Dudley Tompkins of Columbus. The new couple resided in Bradenton, Florida, and together they had three children, Chris born in 1952, Ellen in 1953 and Anne in 1955. Joe's professional career was quite busy as owner of the Pioneer Oil Company in Bradenton but he occasionally found time to enjoy his favorite past times of golf and cards (Bridge, Poker, Gin). He also enjoyed travelling and was a member of the Bradenton Country Club.
Joe passed away on Jan. 30, 2001, and was buried in his life-long home town of Bradenton.
I want to thank Joe's daughter, Anne, for her assistance with this tribute.