H.E. "Tex" Wright

  • "Iwas with SmYth the smoother mover in Anchoage. We shipped..."
    - Bill James
  • "i am sory to hear about your lose . i am from there and so..."
    - jessica wright
  • "We are so very sorry to hear about Tex passing away and..."
    - Bill and Bonnie Jermain
  • "May your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of..."
    - Julie Rupp
  • "Bill, Sorry to hear that the legend is no longer with us,..."
    - Ted De Boer

Longtime Anchorage businessman H.E. "Tex" Wright, 90, died Jan. 27, 2008, in Rancho Mirage, Calf.
A celebration of life will be held at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Millennium Alaskan Hotel in Anchorage.
His son, William F. Wright of Anchorage, daughter, Donna Wright of Newport Beach, Calif., and business partner, Darrell Grosland, of Rancho Mirage, were at his bedside during his last hours.
Harold was born July 25, 1917, in Davenport, Iowa, to Edward and Ada (Morford) Wright.
He was educated and worked on the Morford family farm in Illinois during the Depression. He left Illinois in the mid-1930s as a hobo (riding the rails) in search of a trade and eventually ended up a welder on pipelines in Texas. He then became "Tex."
In the late '30s Tex made his way to Pasco Airport in Washington, where he learned to fly and became a flight instructor in the U.S. Army Air Corps.
Sometime in the early 1940s, Tex came to Anchorage, where he lived in the tent city. He eventually became an electrician for City Electric during its building of the Alaska Dew Line projects.
An Alaskan for more than 60 years, Tex pioneered the transportation of automobiles in Alaska as the founder of Wrightway Auto Carriers. In 1951, he saw the need to transport vehicles from Seward to the bustling young community of Anchorage. It was more than 125 miles over narrow, unpaved roads, taking as long as a day one way. Tex also pioneered the transport of vehicles over the Alaska Highway and the Haul Road to the North Slope.
In the early '90s, his son became a partner in Wrightway and later purchased the business when Tex started his "snowbird" status in the Palm Springs area.
Tex stayed in the transportation industry as a partner in AADA Systems in Seattle.
During the past 15 years, Tex lived in Rancho Mirage during the winter and Big Lake in the summer, flying his 206 floatplane.
Tex was an avid outdoorsman who hunted and fished in Alaska, Mexico and South Africa. Other interests were horse breeding, gambling and flying.
It's been said that Tex owned more than 50 aircraft during his lifetime. For the last 12 years, he had leased Cessna 421s to Air Palm Springs, an FAA Part 135 Air Carrier in Palm Springs. He enjoyed flying his Cessna 421 from Rancho Mirage to Seattle.
Tex owned several breeding horses at Ward River Ranch in Visalia, Calif. He dabbled in the commodities market with corn and beans grown at the Morford family farm in Illinois. Tex was an avid poker player at the casinos in Rancho Mirage.
Tex was awarded a citation and pin in 2006 in honor of 60 years as a loyal and faithful member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.
Tex was a very colorful gentleman who enjoyed negotiating on his real estate investments in Alaska and his aircraft business in Palm Springs.
Tex had several individuals supporting his quality of life during recent years: business partners Lynn and Jerry Curtis, Darrell Grosland, Louis Walters (deceased); close friends Bob Mauseth, Lewis Woodworth, Jim "Judge" Hansen, and co-pilots Joseph Bennett, Ted Johnson and Paul Quirion.
Tex was proud of his grandchildren, Tyler and Lindsey Wright, for their accomplishments in school and athletics. During his last days, it was obvious that a letter from Lindsey, when read to "Papa Tex," brought him great comfort.
Tex is survived by his son and daughter-in-law, William and Georgia, and their children, Tyler and Lindsey of Anchorage; and his daughter, Donna Wright of Newport Beach, Calif.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: AOPA Safety Foundation, 421 Aviation Way, Frederick, MD 21701, or St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School, 2901 E. Huffman Road, Anchorage 99516.
Published in Anchorage Daily News on Feb. 5, 2008