John H. Bright III|
John H. Bright III passed away peacefully on April 8, 2013, in the company of his family. John suffered a cardiac arrest in mid-February of this year and was in a coma since then. He will be deeply missed by those who loved him, both his family and his friends.
John was born on October 17, 1943, in Jackson, Mississippi, to his father John H. Bright, Jr., and his mother Hattie Gustine Bright, who were originally from Texas. John spent his childhood moving from place to place, depending on where his father's work as a civil engineer took him -- including Georgia, New York, and Colorado. During many of those years, and even later, John spent summers working on his grandfather's farm in Stonewall, Texas.
The family moved to the Seattle area as John was entering middle school, and he remained in the area for the rest of his life, graduating from Roosevelt High School and obtaining his B.A. at the University of Washington in 1965 and his law degree from UW in 1967.
After law school, John joined the firm of Farris, Bangs & Horowitz, where he practiced until serving as Counsel to Governor Daniel J. Evans in 1972-1973. From 1973 to 1977, John was the Chief of the Consumer Protection and Antitrust Division of the Washington State Attorney General's Office under Attorney General Slade Gorton, where he participated in many significant consumer and business cases on behalf of the State and its citizens. In 1977, John joined the Seattle law firm of Keller Rohrback where he became a partner and remained in private practice as a civil trial lawyer until his retirement in 2009.
John met his wife of 46 years, Penny Morrison Bright, while both were students at the University of Washington. The couple moved to Bainbridge Island, Washington in 1977, where they raised their three children in addition to continuing the pursuit of their own careers.
John had a brilliant, inquisitive intellect. He read widely and voraciously, both fiction and non-fiction, and he seemed to be capable of talking knowledgeably about virtually any subject. He was articulate, he had an incisive mind and a lively sense of humor, and he was not shy about expressing his opinions. He was a sailor, an avid skier, a music fan, a political junkie, a problem-solver, and a rock of stability for his family, who will miss him always.
John is survived by his wife Penny; by his children Air Force Major Justin Bright and his wife Brianna of Omaha, Nebraska; Dr. Leah Bright of Baltimore, Maryland; and Meghan Bright Silver, an attorney in New York City and her husband Joe Silver; and by his sister Beverly Bright of Tacoma, Washington, and her children and grandchildren. Funeral services will be held on April 12, 2013, at 1 p.m. at the Arthur A. Wright Chapel, Butterworth Funeral Home, 520 W. Raye Street, Seattle. John's friends are encouraged to attend.
The family wishes to thank the remarkable people at Harborview Hospital and Kindred Hospital for their skill and kindness.
Published in The Seattle Times from Apr. 9 to Apr. 10, 2013