Billy Wright was born on September 20, 1937 to Robert and Ceola (Collier) Wright in Hollandale, Mississippi. He was the youngest of their seven children and was preceded in death by his parents and all of their children, his siblings: Tartt, Robert Jr., Harry, Darnell, Clementine and Bobbie Jean. Bill passed away on April 21, 2013 at Overlake Hospital in Bellevue, Wa from complications of Dementia.
Bill's family moved to the Seattle area when he was thirteen years old. He attended and graduated from Garfield High School in Seattle. He went on to attend Olympic College in Bremerton where he played basketball. He also attended Eastern Washington University where he played football.
In 1960, he met Mary Wynetta Sayles in Seattle and they married in 1962 in San Francisco, California. They eventually returned to Seattle and of this union, two children were born: Alicia Monica and Michael Gerard.
Bill became a Seattle Police officer in 1968 where he proudly served for 27 years. Bill was one of very few blacks on the department at that time. He, along with a few other black officers, was somewhat of a pioneer, paving the way and opening doors for other blacks and minorities that would eventually come along. Bill was the first black motorcycle officer in the history of the Seattle Police Department. He also went on to become a member of the Seattle Police Motorcycle Drill Team. Bill held many positions during his career. He started as a patrol officer and eventually rose through the ranks until he reached the rank of Major, which is the modern day equivalent to Assistant Chief. Bill was extremely hard working and loved his job, but he lived to provide for, support and love his family.
He retired early at age 57 and was able to enjoy a long retirement. He was an avid golfer (once even
scoring a hole in one, which was published in the Seattle Times), fisherman, jazz, sports and news
enthusiast. He also enjoyed playing cards often with his friends. He was a handyman's handyman and could fix almost anything from cars to appliances to structural home repairs & remodeling. He was a perfectionist and there was almost nothing he could not fix.
Bill lived a very full life. Though he accomplished many things in life, he remained a humble man. He was loved and respected by many. He was a friend, husband, and father but one of his most enjoyable roles in life was being "Papa". He spent his final 18 years loving and supporting his grandchildren: Christian, Austin, Justin, Jordan and Jayden.
Bill is survived by his wife of 51 years, Wynetta, daughter Alicia Moss (Scott), son Michael Wright
(Hannah), all five of his grandsons, his brother Albert Wright, sister-in-Iaws Vassie Wright (Harry), CeCe Wright (Tartt), Irma Jean Prescott and brother-in-Iaws Joseph N. Sayles and Benjamin Prescott, cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.
Funeral Mass will be at St. Paul's Catholic Church on Monday, April 29th at 10:00 a.m. followed by interment at Sunset Hills Memorial Park. A guest book is @ www.sunsethillsfuneralhome.com
Published in The Seattle Times on Apr. 28, 2013