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From Patrick's Eulogy by best friend and Stanford classmate, Ryan Wirtz


"Patrick Wood’s incomparable time with us touched us profoundly.


He touched us long before the tragedy of his passing, a remarkable event for all of us that will leave many questions unanswered and many hearts crying.


He touched us not because we have lost his love of humanity and its questions --

but because he dared to ask them at all."

~   The Essential Patrick   ~

"Patrick engaged with his world and sought to understand it, and press back against it at its most fundamental levels.

He had come to find in his heart the answers to questions for which there were no words, only feelings, and endeavored to find for himself an understanding of the earth in a way that was uniquely his, an insight that he imagined and articulated with his own distinctive voice.


"This is what I will miss most about my friend Patrick; yet this will be to me his most enduring honor.


"Patrick was a serious student who was growing into a gentle man, with a grin and goofy laugh that brightened the world around him. He solved puzzles and proofs, created music like a star and amazed everyone with his brilliance. Yet, he did it all so quietly, without ever wanting recognition, without ever wanting to admit to himself how spectacular the essential Patrick could be.


"But Patrick was in pain and his soul fell burdened under the weight of his illness and the struggle of his own emotions—emotions that, like so many aspects of his life, were superhuman. But his struggle was superhuman also and ultimately defeated him.


"Patrick was a young person who could not continue to fight, despite his gifts; who could not continue to cry, despite the joy he brought to his world; and could not continue to live, despite his energy and passion.


"He left the world just as he lived in it—deliberately, not impulsively, and after what he felt was a rational, calm introspection. We have no choice now but to accept the fact that he felt the time had come, but I also take comfort in knowing that he left us painlessly and that he also felt that he would finally find peace.


"Patrick knew he was not alone when he was alive. He knew that legions of people would reach out to him and he communicated that acceptance in his own Patrick ways. He leaves behind many people who loved him and many communities that will mourn his loss.


"I had dared to dream of a Patrick who would grow old with his friends, whose wrinkled face would betray a lifetime of those laughs and smiles that we would share together and those laughs and smiles that only he could bring. But Patrick had every gift a man could want except more tomorrows than yesterdays. And we will never forget him."




•  Lifetime Achievement Award, Pomfret School, 2006

•  Bachelor of Science (Mathematics), Stanford University, cum laude, 2005

•  Valedictorian, Pomfret School, 2001
•  Robert C. Byrd Scholar, 2001
•  National Merit Scholarship winner, 2001
•  Senior Class English Award, 2001
•  Harvard­ Radcliff Book Award, 2000
•  Bausch and Lomb Science Award, 2000
•  2000 Book Awards in AP Calculus, History III AP, English & French IV
•  Cum Laude Society, May, 2000
•  Book Awards in Honors Algebra II, History II Honors, & French III, 1999
•  Book Awards in English,  geometry,  History Honors, & French II, 1998
•  Peck Academic Scholarship to Pomfret School, 1997


Musical Achievements


•  First place, 2001, 1999, and 1998 Audrey Thayer Piano Competitions, CT State Music Teachers Association
•  Second place René Fisher & Evelyn Bonar Storrs High School Competitions, 2001     
•  Wycliffe College Music Award, 2000
•  Excellence in Theory Award, 1997, Longy School of Music
•  Preparatory Studies Junior Certificate, 1997, Longy School of Music
•  First place, 1992 Young Artists Chamber Music Competition, Hartt School of Music Camerata Ensemble

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