Robert (Bob) J. Wright|
(Major Ret., U.S. Army)
March 7, 1923 – May 8, 2013
Monterey – Robert (Bob) J. Wright, age 90, died on May 8, 2013 at the Carmel Hills Care Center, surrounded by his family. Bob was born on March 7, 1923 in Oak Park, Illinois, the youngest of three boys, to Edward and Elsie Wright.
Bob enlisted in the Army Air Corps when he was 18 years old. During WWII, Bob served for three-and-a-half years in India. When he returned home, he spent some time boxing and became the welter weight champion in the Golden Gloves North-Side Chicago area. Bob re-enlisted and spent time in Belgium as part of the occupying forces. He went to Officer Candidate School, and while on leave, he became reacquainted with Esther Baker, a classmate from high school. They were married in 1947, and had two children. Bob and Esther celebrated 66 years of marriage on May 3, 2013.
Bob served in Korea during the war in the infantry. He was awarded the Bronze Star medal with a "V" device for valor and the Combat Infantry Badge. He was wounded in combat and received the Purple Heart medal. He also earned his paratrooper wings, glider wings, and ranger tab.
His family was with him when Bob served in Germany in the 1950s as an infantry company commander. Bob retired from the Army as a Major at Fort Ord. He worked again for the Army as a civilian Plans Officer. He retired with a combined 50 years of federal service.
At the age of 56, Bob took a serious interest in long-distance running. He was a frequent age-group winner at races throughout Central California and became an accomplished marathon runner. He ran 25 marathons and enjoyed the camaraderie of running on the Monterey Peninsula with the Monterey Peninsula Athletic Club and the Wednesday Night Laundry Runners
In his later years he enjoyed driving his grandson, Bobby, to school. Bob was in the Boy Scouts and achieved the Star Scout rank. He proudly participated in his grandson's Eagle Scout Court of Honor in 2003.
While Bob enjoyed a certain amount of adventure and play, his focus in life was always supporting his family. His wise council and willingness to help in any way, at a moments notice, will be greatly missed.
He was preceded in death by his father, Edward L. Wright; mother, Elsie Wright; and brothers, Edward Wright and Joseph Wright. He is survived by his wife, Esther, of Monterey; daughter, Kathleen Wright, of Pleasanton; son, Lance Wright and daughter-in-law, Nelly Wright, and grandson Robert (Bobby) Wright of Pacific Grove.
The family will hold a private memorial ceremony with military honors. Lance, Kathleen, Nelly, and Bobby will host a celebration of life at the Paul Mortuary on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 at 2:00 p.m.
Published in The Monterey Herald on June 14, 2013