Walter Bright (1924 - 2018)

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GRAND HAVEN, Mich. - Walter Williams Bright of Grand Haven passed away on Sunday (Oct. 7, 2018) at the age of 94.
He was born on Jan. 16, 1924, in Smethport, Pa., one of three sons of Stanley and Florence Bright. After graduating from Smethport High School in 1941, Walter attended Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pa., until World War II interrupted his studies.
In September 1942, Walter enlisted in the U.S. Army and rose to the rank of captain. Soon after the end of World War II, Walter married the love of his life, Margaret Olson, on May 19, 1946, in Port Allegany, Pa. Walter then attended the University of Michigan where he earned his bachelor's degree in mathematics in 1949, and a master's degree in educational administration in 1952.
Walter was a tireless advocate for education and was a beloved member of the Grand Haven Area Public Schools community. He first came to Grand Haven as principal of Central Elementary School in 1953. In 1955, he left to serve as superintendent of schools in Capac, Mich., and then in Escanaba, Mich. Walter, Margaret and their family then returned to Grand Haven in 1964 when Walter became principal of Grand Haven High School. In 1966, Walter became assistant superintendent for curriculum instruction, the position from which he retired in 1978. Walter was a recipient of an Honorary Award for Service to the Grand Haven Area Public Schools from the Grand Haven Schools Foundation in 2014.
Walter loved his family and enjoyed so much spending time with them. He loved music (played the piano, and sang in church choirs and the Grand Rapids Symphonic Choir), and he was always attending and recording his children's numerous and various musical events. Walter also loved sports (whether it was tennis, football, baseball, basketball or some other sport; especially U of M football), and he loved the outdoors, dogs and traveling.
Walter is survived by his loving wife of 72 ½ years, Margaret, his 4 children, Joan of Blue Grass, Iowa, Bruce of Grand Ledge, Mich., Scott (Kathy) of Washington Township, Mich., and David (Sara) of Lino Lakes, Minn.; his six grandchildren, April, Sophie, Joshua, Laura, Caitlin and Kyle and his nine great-grandchildren, Orion, Cassie, Jackson, Henry, Julian, Adeline, Eloise, Callum and Finn. Other extended family members include Julia Bright, and Brodrick and Ashley Wheat and their children, Sabriel and Zekiel.
Walter was predeceased by his parents, Stanley and Florence Bright, and his two brothers, Harold and Gordon.
The family honors the memory of Walter and invites you to visit and share memories and to celebrate his life from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday at The VanZantwick Chapel, 620 Washington Ave., Grand Haven, MI 49417. A memorial service will be held at the funeral home at 11 a.m. on Saturday. A private burial will be at the Lake Forest Cemetery in Grand Haven.
In lieu of flowers, it is suggested that donations be given in memory of Walter W. Bright to Edgewood Lutheran Church, 2525 E. Pontaluna Road, Fruitport, MI 49415, or the Grand Haven Schools Foundation, P.O. Box 272, Grand Haven, MI 49417. Please sign the family's online guestbook at
Funeral Home
Sytsema Funeral and Cremation Services - Vanzantwick Chapel
620 Washington Ave
Grand Haven, MI 49417
(616) 842-6100
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Published in The Bradford Era from Oct. 10 to Oct. 17, 2018
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