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HOLLINGSWORTH Captain Connor Wright Hollingsworth (USMC Retired), 89, passed away quietly at St. Vincent's Medical Center in Jacksonville on July 16, 2012 in the company family and loved ones. Wright was born January 20, 1923 in Dover, Georgia, the son of Clayton Hillis Hollingsworth and Hazel Wright Hollingsworth. Growing up in Cave Spring, Georgia on the campus of the Georgia School for the Deaf where his father was superintendent, he graduated from of Cave Spring High School in 1940. Wright enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1942. While serving in the Marine Corps, Wright attended college at Georgia Military College, the University of Tennessee, Duke University, and Florida State University earning Bachelor of Science and Masters of Science degrees. Wright was a stellar student and athlete- representing the Marine Corps as a finalist in the decathlon in the 1948 U.S. Olympic Trials. He proudly served his country in China and Korea, sustaining life-threatening wounds during the invasion of Inchon. As a tribute to his leadership and courage during the Korean conflict, Wright was awarded the Purple Heart in 1950. He retired from service at the rank of Captain in 1951. Through the tireless efforts of retired Lt. Col. Marvin Gardner and other members of his platoon-who both saved his life during battle and campaigned for his recognition fifty-six years later, Wright received the Bronze Star in 2008. Wright married the former Marjorie Joyner of Americus, Georgia on October 26, 1951. The couple moved to Jacksonville, Florida in 1954 where he has since lived as a devoted husband, father, and friend to all. From 1954 until his retirement in 1984, Wright served the citizens of Florida as an Administrator and Director with the Florida Alcoholic Rehabilitation Program, Florida Department of Public Welfare, and the Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services. In 1970, the State Legislature adopted the State Medicaid Implementation Plan authored by Wright-thus establishing the State's Medicaid program. Wright would serve as the program's first director until 1976. A long-time member of the Riverside Avenue Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) as well as the Unitarian Universalist Church of Jacksonville, Wright has been active in a number of community service activities. He has served as President of the Rotary Club of West Jacksonville, the Mental Health Association Board of Directors, Hollybrook Homes Chairman of the Board, Jacksonville Community Council, Inc., and the Board of Directors of the St. Johns Dinner Club. His years of tireless service to others; his heroic, yet humble nature; and his devotion to his family, church, and innumerable friends are greatly appreciated by all who were fortunate to have known him. Wright is pre-deceased by his wife-Marjorie Joyner Hollingsworth. Surviving are their children Lee Wright Hollingsworth, his wife Emily, and their children John Clayton, Katherine, and Langdon, of Roswell, Georgia; Dr. Lorraine Hollingsworth Dajani, her husband Dr. Omar Dajani, and their children Lemise, Jenna, and Omar, of Jacksonville; Virginia Ann Hollingsworth Arthur and her husband Steve Arthur, of Petaluma, California; and Michael Joyner Hollingsworth, his wife Sibyl, and their daughter Christina, also of Jacksonville-as well as numerous nieces, nephews, and grandchildren. Visitation and last respects will be paid on Friday, July 20, at 5:00 p.m. at Hardage-Giddens Funeral Home, 729 Edgewood Avenue South in Jacksonville. Memorial services in celebration of his life will be held on Saturday, July 21, at the Riverside Avenue Christian Church, 2841 Riverside Avenue, Jacksonville 32205, at 2:00 pm, with a reception following. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that any donations be sent to Riverside Avenue Christian Church. Please Sign the Guestbook @ Jacksonville.com
Published in the Florida Times-Union from July 19 to July 21, 2012
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