"I became enthused about being a trash man," Mr. Wood told The Baltimore Sun in August 1991. "Throwing those cans, it was just like playing baseball. Ducking cans, ducking rats. It was something to keep you in shape."

Mr. Dutton followed Mr. Wood around while preparing to play the role of Roc, listening to his stories and studying Mr. Wood's habits. He had the show's character adopt Mr. Wood's odd hobby.

"I really wanted to learn why he consumed and kept all these things from a garbage route," Mr. Dutton said. "It was somewhat like a hoarder before it became a reality show."

Mr. Wood's intention was always to fix half-broken devices he brought back, though he rarely did, Mrs. Wood said. Still, said Andre Anderson, the fiance of one of Mr. Wood's daughters, there are many homes in Northeast Baltimore that likely contain air conditioners or washers that Mr. Wood found, fixed and donated.

"He had two or three of everything," Mr. Anderson said. "If you needed something, he'd say, 'Don't buy it, I'll see if I got it.' "

Last week, as Mr. Anderson stood in Mr. Wood's room amid mounds of trophies, laundry baskets, plastic tubs, thermoses, cereal boxes, spectacles, cellphones and wooden paper towel dispensers, tears streamed down his face.

"I'm just glad I got the approval from him to marry his daughter," he said.

Nearby, his fiancee, Octavia Wood, studied a fading photograph of her father in a chef's hat and apron. "He liked to hold on to everything," she said.

"He thought if he got rid of something," Mr. Anderson added, "someone would need it later."

A public viewing will take place from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Thursday at Wilson Park Christian Community Church, 4629 York Road, Baltimore. A private viewing for family members will follow. A memorial service, which is open to the public, will begin at the church at 11 a.m.

In addition to his wife and daughter, Mr. Wood is survived by five other children, Marena Lewis-Wood, John Wood Jr., Sheldon Faison, Mashelle Faison and Reggie Faison.