William B Rood, Jr. was born in Chicago on September 1, 1942. He died at home in Saddlebrooke, AZ, on September 30, 2020. He is survived by his wife, Ginny, sons Billy, Michael and Kenneth, daughters-in-law Casey, Holly and Cristy, granddaughters Alyssa, Riley and Heather, and his brother John. In April 2018, Bill was diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. About a year into the illness, Bill wrote the following to be read at his memorial. Since we want to hold his memorial when we are freer to travel and gather, we are sharing it here.\n\n"Bill had the good fortune of growing up in Evanston, Illinois, a suburb on Chicago's north side where good schools were a top priority. Giant elms formed arches over city streets. The Northwestern University marching band could be heard rehearsing for Saturday football games. Bill went to Northwestern, graduating in 1964 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, and master's degree from Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism in 1965. By then, Vietnam was ablaze. Bill's best friend in grad school had gone into the Navy and was aboard a ship deployed to Vietnam, so Bill followed his lead. He served aboard a landing ship that supplied ammunition to U.S. Marines and then as officer in charge of a Swift Boat, initially patrolling the coast but then doing river patrols. He was awarded two Bronze Stars with combat V and a Purple Heart in a war he eventually came to believe should never have been fought.\n\nHe got out of the Navy in 1969 and applied to several newspapers. He was offered a reporting position at the Milwaukee Journal but decided to try for one at the Los Angeles Times. He found the names of several top editors at The Times who had graduated from Medill, among them metro editor Bill Thomas. Thomas said the paper never hired anyone with less than five years of experience. Bill told him he'd be in LA the next day (Bill was in Evanston at the time). Thomas said don't come. But Bill came anyway. Thomas arranged an interview with the editor of the paper's Orange County Edition. That led to a tryout and another tryout and finally a job.\n\nBill spent 26 years at The Times as reporter and editor, environmental specialist, government desk editor, senior assistant metro editor, suburban editor and special projects editor. But financial strains began to take a toll on the paper, and when Copley Newspapers offered him an executive position overseeing editorial content of its Chicago area papers, he left The Times. Five years later, he went to the Chicago Tribune as a metro desk editor. He retired from that position in 2008.\n\nBill loved hiring and mentoring young reporters. A recent email showed why:\n\n"I had heard you were ill, and I hated to hear it. When I think back on all of the terrific people I have met in this crazy business, your name tops my list\n\nI tell the story often of the careful and wise editor, the sharp wit and keen writing style of a man who took time out of his busy day to offer a word of encouragement to a discouraged pup of a reporter. I tell people, "You know, Bill Rood was the first editor who took interest in me, encouraged me, at a time when I felt so lost.". \n\nYou walked up to my desk after I'd turned in a short story about a warm October day in Chicago and said, "Why, you're a writer!" You were so surprised, and happy, and told me to keep doing it. Keep trying keep being inventive, and not let the cruelty of the resident work stop me from trying to write well. You may not have known at the time what a difference your words meant to me, but they did, and sustained me for so long.\n\nThen, of course, we talked books and favorite authors. You were my favorite boss by far, then and now.\n\nIt was such a kind thing to do, to mentor me, and I will never forget it. I have tried to emulate it when I can, and fail more often than succeed, but when I do succeed, I think in a little way that I'm carrying on your work".\n\nArizona has been an ideal retirement home. The beauty of its mountain trails was a blessing to Bill and his companions, and the friendships forged with all of you were a treasure. The woodworking projects he did with Tom Birky produced things of beauty Ginny can enjoy for years to come. \n\nHe wanted all of you to know what a significant part Ginny has played in any success he's had. Without her, none of it would have happened. As a wife and mother, her strength love and intelligence has been the glue that's kept our family on track. Just ask Billy, Mike and Kenny. She has been a constant source of strength and wisdom during Bill's illness--a wonderful blend of courage and kindness."