FLIPPIN, Ark. (KY3) — The founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest Wood, passed away on Saturday, and Wednesday he was laid to rest.
The 87-year-old man was best known for being the developer of the modern bass boat. Wood was also a member of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
“Such a legend. Such an icon,” said Chris Jones with Fishing League Worldwide. “But I think he got those early tournaments started by giving away boats for first-place prizes. And people respected that. People loved that about him. He’s the guy that has built this great game of fishing into what it is.”
Friends, family and people from the community came to the Flippin First Baptist Church in Marion County to honor him.
“He was genuine, and he loved his family, and he loved the communities, and that outpouring is a reflection of that,” said Keith Daffron, Wood’s oldest grandson.
The Flippin School District even canceled school so faculty, staff and students could be here.
“Mr. Forest was such an icon and such a great person,” said Neil Stillwell, a friend of Wood’s. “But he hung around with me and made me feel like I was one of his best buddies. And I’ll never forget him.”
People who knew him from all across the country attended his service to say goodbye.
“He was the most compassionate, true gentleman,” said Hank Parker, a friend of Wood’s. “People say the fishing world is going to miss Forrest Wood. The whole world is going to miss Forrest Wood.”