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Kenneth E. Wright

1937 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Kenneth E. Wright Obituary
Kenneth E. Wright

February 21, 1937 - July 1, 2016


Kenneth E. Wright passed away peacefully July 1 at Duke University Hospice. Born February 21, 1937, in Washington, DC, Ken was the son of the late Robert J. and Lillian S. Wright. Ken is survived by his wife, Anne; his son, Jefferson, of Greensboro, NC; his daughter, Susan, and son-in-law, David Leistiko of Scottsdale, AZ; his stepson, Wesley Wilkerson, of Durham, NC; and granddaughters Sydney and Lily Leistiko. He is also survived by his brother, Bob, of Raleigh, NC, and his sister, Kathleen Rae, of San Diego, CA, and their families, as well as numerous cousins, friends and former colleagues, all of whom will miss Ken's bonhomie and penchant for storytelling.

Ken grew up in Arlington, VA, where he developed a life-long love of sports and the outdoors. In 1959, he graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute with a BS in civil engineering and was commissioned as a lieutenant in the US Army. He subsequently served as an aviator assigned to the 3rd United States Army Missile Command during the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Upon his discharge in 1963, he began to work for the City of Durham, NC, as an engineer. During his employment by the City of Durham, he earned a Master's Degree in civil engineering from NC State University in 1969. In 1972, Ken was appointed City Engineer for Durham and held that position until his retirement in 1999. During his tenure, he was responsible for executing a number of major engineering improvements for the City, and, in 1993, was honored with the Samuel Greeley Award from the American Public Works Association for 30 years of service to the City of Durham. Ken was an active member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, American Public Works Association, American Water Works Association and Durham Engineers Club. Ken was a registered Professional Engineer, a registered Land Surveyor in North Carolina and a licensed real estate broker.

In retirement, Ken loved visiting Blowing Rock with his wife, Anne, and spending time hunting and fishing with old friends on the Chesapeake Bay. A lover of wine, Ken was also never known to pass up a good bourbon.

Funeral services will be held at Duke University Chapel on Tuesday, July 19, at 11 AM, with inurnment to follow at Arlington National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations in honor of Ken may be made to Duke University Chapel, 401 Chapel Drive, Durham, NC 27708.
Published in The News & Observer on July 10, 2016
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