Celia S. Wright

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Celia S. Wright

West Des Moines

Celia S. Wright, of West Des Moines, peacefully departed this life on July 26, 2014,with her family at her side. She died of heart failure. She was born June 18, 1936 in Des Moines, Iowa, the first child of John L. and Harriet Wright, who preceded her in death, along with her sister, Dianne Wright, her brother, John R. Wright, and her nephew, V.J. Rozanek. She is survived by her sister, Linda Wright; her nieces, Laura Wright, Heather Wright, Jennifer Wenslay, and Elena (Rick) Hanson; her great nieces, Josephine Wright and Kathryn Rozanek; her sister-in-law, Nancy Wright; and many cousins, extended family members and friends Celia loved and worked diligently to keep in touch with.

A funeral service will be held at Central Presbyterian Church at 10:00 AM Friday, August 1st, preceded by a coffee hour. Burial at Masonic Cemetery will follow the service. Friends may call after 2:00 PM on Thursday, July 31st, at Dunn's Funeral Home where the family will be present from 5:00 to 7:00 PM. Memorial contributions may be made to Central Presbyterian Church, Wounded Warriors, or the in Iowa.

Celia graduated from Roosevelt High School in Des Moines, and from the University of Denver with a Bachelor's degree in journalism and education. In the early days of her career, she taught journalism and English in Newton, Iowa, and Englewood, Colorado, and also worked as a Company Journalist for Iowa Power. In 1967, she began her career in advertising in earnest, as an account executive at Lessing Flynn. In 1970, Celia was Advertising Woman of the Year (Des Moines), and again in 1973 (9th District American Advertising Federation). She was honored in the 1972 edition of Outstanding Young Women of America, and was President of Advertising Professionals of Des Moines in 1971 and again in 1975. She moved to Fultz, LaCasse and Greenlee as an account supervisor in 1974, and struck out on her own, creating Celia S. Wright Advertising, in 1979. Five years later, she merged her entrepreneurial talents and public relations expertise with the formidable gifts of her longtime friend and colleague, Peter Flynn, Sr., to form Flynn Wright Advertising. Together, they had a tremendous amount of fun doing what they loved, and continued to win both accolades and loyal clients.

In 1988, Celia opened Bell Book and Candle in Valley Junction. She retired from Flynn Wright in 1992, and began her quest to explore the quaint, less travelled corners of the Midwest with friends and family and to volunteer for causes that were important to her. She volunteered at Living History Farms and served on the Board of the West Des Moines Historical Society. She was a longtime member of Central Presbyterian Church and PEO Chapter JK, and served as president and on the board of her town home association. Celia was also very proud of her family's legacy at Wright Tree Service.

Celia was larger than life, and her heart was even bigger. Family and friends were her life and she didn't know a stranger. She was a tireless advocate for anyone who needed her help. Her strong faith in God guided and sustained her, and though she had her own beliefs and convictions, she had the special gift of being able to really listen to all sides of any discussion. She loved to laugh, to make others laugh, and to have a good time. No one could turn a phrase quite as adeptly and quickly as she could. She was an avid reader and loved British comedies, Mad Men, and good theater. Celia was happiest when she was managing a project on a grand scale, though details rarely escaped her.

Celia was . . . well, she was just Celia. She will be greatly missed by all those whose lives she touched.


Funeral Home
Dunn's Funeral Home
2121 Grand Ave
Des Moines, IA 50312
(515) 244-2121
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Published in Des Moines Register from July 29 to Aug. 1, 2014
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