Larry C. Wright, 84, passed away Wednesday, January 20th, 2010. He was preceded in death by his wife, Pat, in 2002; a son, Rodney Eugene Wright, in 1953; two sisters, Loretta Waters and Leta Fay Jones; and five brothers, Doyle Burns, Bob Burns, Melton Burns ( my dad), Eldridge Wright and John L. Wright.
That’s the official version. What it doesn’t say is he is the last of his family. Of his generation only two sister in laws, my mother Ruth and Carol Wright remain. Of the next generation he leaves two daughters, Gail West and husband Larry of Amarillo and Susan Lange and husband Gary of Orlando, Fla.; eight grandchildren, Rodney, Marty, Monique, Laura, Blaine, Sara, Kristin and Lisa; and 17 great-grandchildren.
Larry was a great influence on me, probably more than he knew. At middle age he went back and finished college at West Texas State (now WT A& M), and banking school at SMU, something that helped me keep my feet to the fire when I had to work full time causing it to take me ten years to graduate from the same school. His example helped me believe I could do it.
He was very active in the chamber of commerce and helped convince me that was a field I should go into, a career I pursued for over 27 years. He wrote a book on “The Wright Family” that played a role in interesting me in finding out more about my further family history. I never did write a book (at least not one I published) on the other side of the family but that started me writing and telling stories which led to my pursing writing as a second career.
There was also a period of time when Larry did some professional wrestling and I remember going to watch. Hard to reconcile that with a career of more than 30 years as an officer in several Amarillo banks, but it was hard to put him in a pigeonhole.
I will miss him, and all of that generation. But I know they are presently having the most amazing reunion and that makes me smile. I do know that after so many years of thinking of them as the old timers and myself as one of the kids, that is a shock to wake up and realize that I am now one of the old timers.
He ran the race well.