John Wright


John Richard Wright quietly passed away at his home to be with our Father on Sept. 27, 2011.

John was born in Coggon, Iowa, on July 4, 1925, to Paul Richard Wright and Elsie M. Nietert-Wright. John graduated from Coggon High School in 1942. At age 18, he set out on his own and headed west to Colorado.

In 1947, John continued west to Washington where he met the Smith family. John went to work for George W. Smith driving truck for wheat harvest in the Horse Heaven Hills and Bonner's Ferry, Idaho. John soon fell in love with Rebecca Frances Smith. They married on Oct. 6, 1947. They began their life together living in Oregon, Idaho, Washington, Colorado and Minnesota.

John farmed, ran a motel, owned a resort in Minnesota, sold real estate and built and remodeled houses. In 1968, John and Frances returned to Walla Walla and moved into the old Maxson house at the base of the Blue Mountains. They lived there as John built their own house on the property. When John retired, they spent the next 10 years visiting 23 states and Canada in their motor home.

John is survived by his wife, Rebecca Frances Smith Wright. They had no children of their own but considered their 34 nieces and nephews as their kids.

Viewing and visitation will be held on Friday, Sept. 30, from 2-8 p.m. at the Herring Groseclose Funeral Home, 315 W. Alde St., Walla Walla. The graveside funeral service will be held Saturday, Oct. 1, at 11 a.m. at Mountain View Cemetery with Pastor Chris Kruger officiating. Memorial contributions may be made to the Blue Mountain Humane Society, Walla Walla Community Hospice or the charity of the donor's choice through the funeral home. Friends and family are invited to sign the online guestbook at


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