Richard Boudinot Wright
January 12, 1918 August 24, 2014
Richard B. Wright passed away peacefully August 24, 2014 at the Rogue Valley Manor in Medford, Ore., at age 96. He is survived by his wife of 73 years, Mary Elizabeth Beth' (Perrins) Wright of Medford and his son, Jonathan Wright of Junction City, Ore. Two adult children, Nancy Boyer and Douglas Wright, pre-deceased Richard.
Dick, as he was known to friends, was born in Washington, DC at Garfield Hospital to Clarence Delette Wright, a chemist, and Leslie Boudinot (Flenner) Wright, an attorney. His parents challenged Dick to do well, and he sang in the boy's choir at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, served in high school clubs, and earned the rank of Eagle Scout.
After graduating from Western High School in 1936, Dick earned a four-year scholarship to the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University by winning a Washington Post essay contest. In 1940, Dick graduated from Georgetown as Vice President of his class with a B.S. in Foreign Service.
Duty called, and Dick was drafted in 1941, which led to him being one of the first men of the U.S. Army Fourth Armored Division to go to Officer's Candidate School. During World War II he led troops into Normandy, the Battle of the Bulge, and Germany, and was awarded the Silver Star.
Shortly after being drafted, Dick and the love of his life Elizabeth Beth' Perrins were married on August 9, 1941 in Westford, MA. As common with the Greatest Generation, the couple spent much time apart during the war, with Beth remaining in Massachusetts. After the war, Dick was assigned to the Army Reserve, and moved to Puerto Rico as Superintendent of Sales for the Singer Sewing Machine Company. Another interesting opportunity arose, and Dick resigned from Singer and joined the fledgling Central Intelligence Agency in Langley, VA in 1950, serving in various administrative roles, including as first personnel officer for the original U-2 program, until his retirement in 1973. He retired from the U.S. Army Reserve in 1972, having attained the rank of Colonel.
Still seeking adventure in retirement, Dick and Beth left their home in McLean, VA and moved to the then new resort community of Sunriver, OR. Dick took time off from the golf course to serve on the Deschutes County Planning Commission, the Sunriver Design Committee, the Sunriver Incorporation Committee, and he and Beth opened their home for monthly services of the Sunriver Episcopal Fellowship.
The lifestyle of Rogue Valley Manor beckoned, and in 1999 Dick and Beth moved to the facility in Medford where Beth still resides.
A memorial service will be held at Rogue Valley Manor at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 22, 2014. In the spirit of Dick's background of community service, in lieu of a memorial, please remember him by doing something to make your neighborhood better.