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Lelia Wright

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Lelia "Lee" Wright

February 21, 1930 - April 8, 2013

Lee Wright was born Lelia Florence Craigo in Hot Springs, Arkansas to Richard "Dick" Craigo and Lelia Craigo. She died April 8, 2013, from complications of chronic pulmonary obstructive disease. Since she was the middle child (younger sister to Ann, and older sister to Richard), she was known ever afterward to her hometown friends as "Cissie" or "Cis". Lee made and kept lifelong friends in her hometown, and went back frequently to Hot Springs to visit friends and family there. After beginning her education at the University of Arkansas (where she pledged the Pi Beta Phi sorority), Lee transferred to Northwestern University, and graduated from there with a Bachelor of Science in Speech and Language Therapy in 1952. While at Northwestern, she met and married Rogers H. Wright, also from Arkansas, who was pursuing a doctorate in clinical psychology. After she worked a brief stint as a speech therapist for the Chicago area schools, Lee and Rogers moved to Southern California, and Lee began teaching in the Los Angeles schools as a speech therapist. The young couple settled in Long Beach, CA, in the late 1950s. In 1960, their daughter, Stacy was born; and in 1964, a son, Craig, followed. While the children attended Naples Elementary School, Lee was the backbone of the Naples PTA. The family lived together in the Naples area of Long Beach, and enjoyed the many typical Southern California activities afforded by living on the water, including boating, snorkeling and scuba diving. Lee & Rogers traveled extensively in Central and South America, and the family enjoyed numerous camping trips in their camper. Lee subsequently obtained her Masters degree in Speech and Language Therapy from California State University at Long Beach. After divorcing in 1974, Lee moved to the College Park Estates area of Long Beach, and resumed working as a speech therapist, and retired from the Long Beach Unified School District in 1988. She has stayed close to all her former speech and language colleagues from the school district, referring to them as the "Over the Hill Gang". In the late 1970s, Lee joined the Unitarian Universalist Church of Long Beach, and over the years, held numerous leadership positions within the church, and for the Pacific Southwest District of Unitarian Universalists, as well as supporting the Long Beach Mozart Festival. She was also very active philanthropically, supporting numerous charities in Long Beach and abroad. Lee loved to travel and explore new cultures, and was very involved supporting the Museum of Latin American Art as a docent for several years. She spent a great deal of time with her daughter, Stacy, and Stacy's family, as well as Lee's own wide circle of friends. Lee was greatly loved and will be missed by the countless people she touched in her life. She is survived by her daughter, Stacy; beloved son-in-law, Jim; treasured grandchildren, Ryan & Meredith; cherished brother, Richard and niece, Brittany. Lee's memorial service will be held on June 14, 2013, at 4:00 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Long Beach, located at 5450 Atherton Ave., Long Beach, CA 90815. Please sign the guest book at www.presstelegram.com/obituaries.
Published in the Long Beach Press-Telegram from May 21 to May 24, 2013
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