Bill Wright (1936 - 2016)

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Bill Wright
February 7, 1936 - March 15, 2016
Son, nephew, cousin, husband, father, brother-in-law, uncle, grand- and great-grandfather, and perhaps best of all, friend: Bill Wright was this, and more, to a great many. Rich or poor, high-toned or humble, he counted your integrity highest. Bill said howdy to the world on February 7, 1936, in Camas, WA, the only child of the young couple from Nebraska, Arthur B. and Frances M. (nee Brittan) Wright. The family moved to Meridian, ID, and an 80-acre farm and dairy, which Bill continued to operate on his own when his parents retired to Long Beach, CA.
He met and married Vi Shepherd of Boise, ID, in 1956. They had two children together, Joseph and Becky, and later divorced. Farming and side work such as hauling bulk milk for the Meridian Creamery, and co-managing Boise's first Gulf Oil Service Station at 27th & Main, gave way to relocating to rustic little Stanley, ID, in 1968, soon to own and operate a service station, with side work in firewood provision, federal forestry, and motel management.
Opportunity of a different sort prompted a move to Mackay, ID, as owner of Ken's Club, and also later of Perk's Bar, with its famous antique Brunswick backbar and hunter's trophies. Perk's also meant live entertainment, and he certainly did enjoy a good country tune.
A bit the restless rover, and mindful of being nearer to assist his now-widowed mother, he moved to Middleton, ID, and ran Middleton Sanitation, later sold when he acquired the the Black Cat Club outside of Meridian. He met and married Mary Kinney (nee Bangi) in 1997, and got to join in a newly extended family with her sons, Guy and Cody, and their wives and families. Idaho Power acquired the Black Cat property, and Bill and Mary landed themselves at the Snake River Inn and Park, on the Owyhee County side of the Snake River at Walter's Ferry, near Melba, Idaho. Bill enjoyed the elbow room and easy going ways, and with his mother's passing, retirement went from 'semi' to 'mostly'. He was able to have the comfort of being home, and the care of a loving wife and family, when he left us on March 15, 2016. As he might have put it: the parts rusted and some cells busted. A weakening heart and a recurring cancer took their last toll.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents, uncles, and aunts, and is survived by wife Mary; son Joseph Wright, Boise ID; daughter Becky Reynolds (son-in-law Darin, sons Robert, Michael, James), Letha ID; stepson Guy Kennedy (wife Barbara, daughters Tia, Trina, Trinidee), Middleton ID; stepson Cody Schmidt (daughter Krista), Meridian ID.
Not much for commotion or middlemen, Bill requested simple services. His extended families will host a viewing for relatives and friends Friday, March 18, 2016, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Nampa Funeral Home/Yraguen Chapel, 415 12th Ave. So., Nampa ID. The gravesite service will be Saturday, March 19, 1 p.m. Melba Cemetery, 7205 Base Line Rd. Melba ID, with reception following at the Melba Valley Senior Center, 115 Base Line Rd, Melba, ID. An online guest book is available at

Funeral Home
Nampa Funeral Home Yraguen Chapel
415 12th Avenue South
Nampa, ID 83651
(208) 442-8171
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Published in Idaho Press Tribune on Mar. 18, 2016