Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Wrights on Wednesday again

Last Wednesday, I discussed a writing done by my grandmother, Nina F. Borden Wright. The following Friday and Monday's posts shared that document.

Last Wednesday, I also spoke of the passing of her seventh child, Harold 'Gene' Wright. Uncle Gene was my dad's youngest brother and a favorite of all the family.  Last week's post can be seen by clicking here.

Uncle Gene's obituary has appeared in the Cody Enterprise, the newspaper of Cody, Wyoming.  I wish to share it here to include as a part of my family history story.

Harold 'Gene' Wright

Harold (Gene) Wright, 76, passed away at his home on Monday, Jan. 25, 2016.
He was born to Albert and Nina Borden-Wright on July 15, 1939, in Callender, Iowa.

Gene is survived by his wife of 54 years Cheryl; his daughter Janie and son-in-law Mike of Casper, son Mitch and daughter-in-law Amy of Casper; son David and daughter-in-law Robin of Boone, Iowa; grandchildren Jaden, Liam and Aaron of Boone, Iowa, Austin and wife Sara of Casper, Ty of Denver, Mike of Cody, Chawney and husband Ron of Bozeman, Amanda of Laramie, Brandie, Shelby and Ceci of Casper, Kristen of California, great-grandsons Tucker and Aden; extended family Sherri and Jake Edgar, and Lisa Muckley of Cody.

Gene joined the Army in 1961, and did his basic training in Fort Carson, Colo.  He was stationed at Offut Air Force Base in Nebraska, and did an 18 month tour in Okinawa and finished his army career at Turner Air Force Base in Albany, Ga.

Upon leaving the military he worked for several years as manager of Scranton Manufacturing in Iowa.  In 1978 he and his family relocated to Cody where he was employed as a security guard at the Buffalo Bill Museum until his retirement in 2001.

Gene was an avid outdoorsman enjoying many hours hunting on the Hoodoo Ranch, Carter Mountain, and Sunlight, usually with his friend Tuff Vore.  Gene also loved fishing the Buffalo Bill Reservoir and would take anyone who wanted to go.  He was a self-taught craftsman and handyman, and would help fix anything for others.  He loved country music and taught himself to play guitar at a young age.  He enjoyed jamming with family at every family gathering.
In 1985 Gene began studying American Kenpo Karate with Michael Belliston, and by 2006 he was awarded the 5th degree black belt by Gary Ronemus.  Eventually he opened his own dojo where he taught American Kenpo Karate.  He continued in this pursuit until his death.

Belliston says, Gene was a true student of Kenpo, where it truly becomes a part of your life and he lived it every day. One of the things about Gene that means so much to me is that he believed in me more than I think I believed in myself, and that is such a monumental thing.  But that was Gene-a student, a friend, and a teacher who always gave more than he received."

Gene loved his family.  His daughter Janie says, "He was the best dad ever, he loved the United States and he loved all of us with everything he had in him."

In lieu of flowers Gene's family asks that donations be made in his name to Wyoming Outdoorsmen, P.O. Box 2562, Cody, WY 82414.

A celebration of Gene's life will be March 12 2-4 p.m. at The Terrace, 525 W. Yellowstone Ave., Cody.

  As I said at the beginning of this post, Uncle Gene's obituary was taken from the Cody, Wyoming newspaper. I added links to several places mentioned in the article. I especially encourage readers to look at his interest in Kenpo Karate. The link above connects to the Black Lion Kenpo Karate site.  His picture can be seen there on the first page as well as in other sections.

My childhood was filled with those family jam sessions mentioned in the obituary.  His was a rich life full of love and caring. As his daughter said, "he loved all of us with everything he had in him".  I couldn't agree more. My life was blessed because of his presence in our family.

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