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Roland R. Wright


1919 - 2015 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Roland R. Wright Obituary
Brig. Gen. Roland R. Wright - USAF (Retired)
I made my final landing on October 19, 2015. As I now move on to the next stage of existence, I marvel at the opportunities and experiences that have brought joy and happiness to me in this mortal state. I give thanks and express appreciation to the many that have made it possible to have what to me has been an abundant and eventful life.
Growing up in Blackfoot, Idaho, I was born March 30, 1919, as the fifth of six children born to Cyril and Esther Robinson Wright, and lived to be the last leaf on the family tree.
As a farm family descended from pioneer stock from Scotland, Ireland and England, I came to know that hard work and religious faith are important parts of the abundant life.
I also found joy in the beauties of nature, including the flight of birds, which as a young boy planted the thought in my mind of someday being able to fly an airplane.
Living in Blackfoot, I found school to be interesting and exciting and I loved athletics, student government, and the opportunity to participate in debate under the direction of a legendary debate coach. This experience fueled a desire to continue my educational pursuits.
Another memorable high school experience was the influence of an outstanding seminary teacher, Dr. G. Byron Done, who helped plant within me the seeds of a believing heart and a desire to serve a fulltime mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Later the call came to serve in the Northwestern States Mission from 1940-1942. This proved to be a demanding, but also joyful and rewarding experience as well as a preparation for the unforeseen challenging events of World War II and military service in the United States Army Air Corps from 1942-1946. During this time I was able to realize my dream of becoming a fighter pilot and the opportunity to fly combat missions in the P-51 Mustang fighter airplane while serving in the 357th Fighter Group in the 8th Air Force in the European Theatre. It was there that I came to better understand and appreciate the precious gift of freedom and the sacrifice and cost required to preserve it.
The most significant event of my life was meeting the love of my life, Marjorie McDonough of Salt Lake City, in 1942 and our subsequent marriage in the Salt Lake Temple on March 21, 1946 after a three-year courtship by correspondence. Because of her I came to know what love is and what a helpmeet is as I pursued a degree in Political Science and a Law Degree at the University of Utah. Together we were blessed with 3 great children, Shannon, Richard, and Gordon. They, along with Marjorie, became not only my supporters without complaint but also the wind beneath my wings during a 30-year opportunity to fly a variety of Air Force airplanes as a member of the Utah Air National Guard. This service began in 1946 and included a recall to active duty in the United States Air Force during the Korean War (1951-1953). This recall to active duty also provided the opportunity to begin flying jet fighter airplanes, which I continued to do after my return from active duty in the Utah Air National Guard flying the F-86 Sabre jet fighter aircraft. The assigned mission in the Utah Air National Guard provided the opportunity to regularly participate in what to me was the ultimate sport - flying the P-51 Mustang and the F-86 Sabre jet fighter airplanes in the U.S. Air Force and Utah Air National Guard.
As the mission of the Utah Air National Guard changed, the opportunity came to fly transport aircraft during the Vietnam War followed by flying tanker refueling aircraft until the time of retirement in July 1976.
As I began practicing law as a partner with the firm of Clyde, Mecham and Pratt, I knew that I had the best of two worlds, practicing law with excellent associates and participating regularly with hundreds of members in the Utah Air National Guard, whose service reflects their love of country and freedom. I was extremely honored when the base from which the members of the Guard serve was renamed the Roland R. Wright Utah Air National Guard Base on November 18, 2014, on the 68th anniversary of the creation of the Utah Air National Guard.
For many years I have also been the beneficiary of a pleasant association with numerous special friends at the Salt Lake Country Club, including the kindness and consideration extended to me and my family by the management and staff of this very special club.
A stabilizing and nurturing influence throughout my life has been The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the extra dimensions that have come from being a part of a family and a large extended family which also found joy in such nurturing as we regularly gathered together in expanding numbers. It also brought further opportunities to learn from and serve with others in a variety of places and circumstances and to acquire a family like relationship with many others of all ages, including the New York, New York City Mission family (1977-1980), the Salt Lake Temple Square tour guide family (1957-1977) and (1980-1983), the Washington D.C. Visitors Center family (1991-1993), the Monument Park 2nd Ward family, and to be a part of the Salt Lake Temple sealing department family from 1995 to 2012 with the opportunity to constantly see and understand life from an eternal perspective.
I have experienced the feelings of sorrow and loneliness from separation by the death of my eternal companion and helpmeet, Marjorie, on March 5, 1994, but I have also experienced the joy and comfort of a loving and supportive family, extended family, neighbors and friends from all walks of our lives together.
I am grateful for the time allotted to me to live upon the earth in this land of freedom and liberty, and for this special family given to us with whom my daily thoughts will continue: Shannon (Kevin Huntington) and Alison, Lindsay (Shay) Berger, Rachel (Derek) Young and Bryan, Richard (former spouse Cyndi) Wright and Rockford (Joni), Jason (Dana), Natalie (John Moore), Stefanie and Sam Young (Sam Young), and Amanda (David) Beatty, Gordon (Sue) Wright and Jessica; great-grandsons: James Wright, Logan Wright, Gauge Moore, Asher Moore, and Lucas Wright.
I now look forward with a perfect assurance to a glorious reuniting with Marjorie, my beautiful eternal companion. She continues to be my hero and exemplar. She is full of goodness and blessed with special talents which she shares with enthusiasm. Her example of loving, forgiving and enduring will continue to bless my life as we continue our journey together, experiencing the extra dimensions of the next state of existence.
Funeral services will be held Monday, October 26, 2015 at noon at the Monument Park 2nd Ward, 1005 South 2000 East. Friends and family may visit Sunday from 6-8 p.m. at Larkin Sunset Lawn, 2350 East 1300 South, and Monday from 10:30-11:45 a.m. prior to services at the ward. Interment will follow at Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park, 3401 South Highland Drive.
Published in The Morning News on Oct. 22, 2015
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