FAIRBORN — Jeanne Marie Hines Wright was born September 24, 1929, in Greens Fork, Indiana, and died November 21, 2013, at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, Ohio. She spent her early years in Cambridge City, Indiana, the daughter of Fred A. and Josephine Portteus Hines, surrounded by her grandparents, Arthur and Jessie Hines, and six young uncles and aunts. In the midst of the large and loving Hines clan, she grew to have an understanding of herself as part of a family tradition known as the "old stock." That identity remained with her throughout her life and shaped the unique blend of practicality, punctuality, humor, and compassion that she instilled in her family and shared with everyone she met. With her family, she moved from Cambridge City to Osborn, Ohio, in 1942, and began school days at Bath Township Consolidated Schools. She graduated from Bath High in 1947 and attended Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, where she earned a bachelor's degree, high honors, and a Phi Beta Kappa key. There, too, she made connections with fellow Fairbornite Tom Wright. They were married November 21, 1951, at the Fairborn Methodist Church, beginning a 62-year partnership.
As a young wife and mother in Fairborn, she raised five children and made countless contributions to community life. She was hired by H.K. Baker as a seventh grade science teacher, but taught only one year before the birth of her son Gary Evan Wright in 1952. Daughters Karen and Jan followed, then son Tommy Hines Wright, and daughter Barbara in 1962. The seventh grade's loss was the community's gain as she used her talents in the Girl Scouts, the Red Cross, the Little League, the Babe Ruth Baseball League, and the United Methodist Church, where she was a member for more than seventy years. At the church, she was active throughout her life in the Christian education program, as well as the choir and numerous other ministries. Some of her most important activities include her participation in the American Association of University Women (AAUW), her work as the first woman trustee of the West Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church, her service to Fairborn FISH, and her terms on the Fairborn City Board of Education (1964-1975). She was made an inaugural member of the Fairborn City Schools Hall of Honor in 1998, served as grand marshal of the Fairborn Fourth of July Parade, and was a member of the Greene County Women's Hall of Fame.
Her most significant work, however, was at the Fairborn Pre-School. She was named director in its early days and the school grew in size and influence under her leadership. She continued to serve after officially retiring, maintaining a daily presence at the school and handling its business affairs until the day before her death. Her careful management and her commitment to ministry resulted in a school that served many families in need of help, as well as those in search of an outstanding pre-school education. The impact of "Mrs. Wright" on hundreds of young families and dozens of staff members is incalculable. While her Bible knowledge was considerable and several passages were well-known to her, many who knew her were aware of a favorite verse that seemed to explain her approach to life. Micah 6:8 asks "What does the Lord require of a human being?" and answers, "To do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God." In her church life, her public life, and her family life, she fulfilled that requirement. She valued humility, loyalty, and kindness to all.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her sister JoAnn, and her sons Gary and Tommy. She is survived by her husband Tom U. Wright of Fairborn; daughters Karen (Steve) Hayes, Fairborn; Jan (Greg) Barger, Overland Park, Kansas; and Barb (Art Riley), Indianapolis; her brother Dr. Dale (Nancy) Hines; and brothers-in-law Paul Richard (Marian) Wright and Jim Grigsby. Her grandchildren include Andrew Kurt (Raegen Stigge), Jessica Lynn, Patrick Stephen, Timothy Michael, and Michelle Marie Barger; and Carrigan Jo, Robert Thomas, and Katherine Jeanne Hayes. Great-granddaughter Sawyer Mae Barger was a joyful family addition in 2012. Calling hours were Monday from 5-8 p.m. at the Belton-Stroup Funeral Home, Fairborn. Funeral services will be at 1 p.m. Tuesday, led by Pastor Aaron Chivington and Pastor Steve Hayes at the Fairborn United Methodist Church, and burial will follow in Byron Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, friends are invited to make contributions to the Fairborn Pre-School or a
. Condolences may be made to the family at www.BeltonStroup.com.