MARVIN L. WRIGHT (1930 - 2013)

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Marvin L. Wright, 82, passed away on Monday, March 25, 2013 at his home in Mount Vernon, Washington. Marvin was born to Hiram and Thelma May (Austin) Wright, November 7, 1930, in Lemesa in the heart of the west Texas plains. The dustbowl and great depression of 1933 forced the family to move for better prospects in Soda, Texas. In Soda they lived on a farm where Marvin loved being a true farm boy raising strawberries, peanuts and corn.

When Marvin was in eighth grade his father became ill. He quit school to help support the family by working a wide variety of jobs from mowing lawns to setting explosive charges. While in Livingston, Texas, he also began to work in a Christian Bible School print shop. It was there he discovered his talent for setting type and working with technical machinery.

Marvin's military career began in 1950 when he joined the US Navy and proudly served his country during the Korean conflict. The Navy recognized his technical abilities and assigned him to an advanced "drone aircraft" program. These pilotless drones were successfully used in Korea for photo reconnaissance and electronic counter measures. They were able to safely gather vital real-time intelligence from ships off shore without endangering a pilot. Marvin also helped devise a remotely controlled system that was installed on full-sized surplus aircraft.

While still in the Navy Marvin managed to get a job setting type for a newspaper in San Diego, California. He frugally saved enough money to buy his first car, a Cadillac! While stationed in California, he met Natalie Frisbie Williams and married his first love on July 24, 1954 after being honorably discharged from the Navy.

Marvin and Natalie lived their lives together in California, where he bought a truck and hauled pot ash for several years. After selling the truck to a friend he eventually returned to his calling of working at a print shop. He worked his way up from assistant type setter to becoming the shop's general manager. Printing became his lifelong career passion. Due to several health issues, Marvin was forced to retire early. Soon after, Natalie became ill and passed away on December 19, 1991. Marvin was determined to carry on and to find "The Queen of His Heart" which he did though a Christian singles personal ad. His "Queen," Phillis Smith, was to be found in Mount Vernon, Washington. Marvin continued to call Phillis his "Queen" during their 20 plus years together residing in Mount Vernon, Washington.

Marvin enjoyed working with his hands and created amazing ornamental wall clocks, tables and chairs, complete furniture suites, and handrails from wrought iron. He loved technology and was an authority on computers from hardware to software. Marvin was a giver and was happiest when lending assistance to family, friends and acquaintances. He loved family-oriented projects and he along with Phillis traveled significantly to research family tree and history. As a result they self-published three family tree books: Dodson, Getting to the Roots, Horn of Plenty and Growing up the Wright Way. Clearly, there just wasn't anything Marvin was afraid to tackle.

Marvin was preceded in death by his parents, Hiram and Thelma May (Austin) Wright, Livingston, Texas. Sisters, Mable Deitrich (Nevin), Ashdown, Texas, Majorie Gay (Lee), West Plains, Missouri, and Phillis' son Donald Smith, Bellingham, Washington and son-in-law Thomas Neumann, Bothell, Washington.

Marvin is survived by his sister Dorothy Fay Goulder, Dayton, Texas, brother J. Clinton Wright, Livingston, Texas. He is also survived by his "Queen Phillis" and her children Ronald (Marlene) Smith, McMinnville, Oregon, Evelyn Neumann, Bothell, WA, Arlene (Bill) West, Silverdale, WA, Raymond (Cheri) Smith, Conway, WA, and nieces, nephews, grandchildren and great-grandchildren too numerous to mention that adored him.

Service arrangements are by Hawthorne Funeral Home, 1825 E. College Way, Mount Vernon, Washington, Phone: (360) 424-1154. Viewing hours are: Friday, April 5, 10:00 AM until 5:00 PM.

A family only internment service, with military honors, will be held Saturday, April 6, 10:00 AM.

The many family and friends are invited to an open celebration of his life, Saturday, April 6, 1:00 PM at Citipoint Church, 830 N 16th Street, Mount Vernon, Washington 98383. There will be a reception following the service.

Memorials may be sent to Citipoint Church and noted Marvin L. Wright.

Please share your thoughts of Marvin and sign the online guest register at

Arrangements are under the care of Hawthorne Funeral Home, Mount Vernon.
Published in Skagit Valley Herald Publishing Company from Mar. 29 to Apr. 4, 2013
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