James Robert Wright, 77, died Friday, September 13, 2019 after a sudden illness.
Born and raised in Weston, WV, the son of Garnett Samples Wright, James joined the army at a young age and remained active in the reserves until his retirement. He was stationed in Germany as a cook and then at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington DC as an ambulance driver, where he met his wife, Ethel, whom he married in 1962. He was then stationed in Alaska, where his first three children were born.
In 1970, James was deployed to Viet Nam where he served as a medic in a MASH unit. He was awarded the Bronze Star for his service from 1970-1971 against hostile forces in Viet Nam. He returned to the US and pursued his degree in nursing, respiratory therapy, and government civil service until retirement. In 1976, he returned to Weston to serve as a Respiratory Therapist at Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital. He remained in that position until 1985, when he transitioned to a career in civil service.
James was awarded the Army Achievement Medal, First Oakleaf Cluster, for outstanding service while serving as operations sergeant for outstanding leadership in the supervision, timely and knowledgeable execution of tactical situations, and achievement and devotion to duty.
He was further distinguished with a Meritorious Service Medal in 1992 for outstanding service as battalion operations sergeant in the 302D Medical Battalion. His contributions in training and operations significantly improved the battalion’s overall standings in weapons qualification, SQT testing, mobilization readiness and MOS Qualification. His selfless dedication and devotion were recognized as well.
James was also presented the Commander’s Award for Civilian Service for outstanding achievement in the successful navigation of the Y2K computer fixes, upgrades, and testing necessary to the successful transition of the command into the year 2000.
He achieved the rank of Master Sergeant before he retired in 2003.
In 2013 James was elected Mayor of Wilmerding PA. Thereafter, he moved to Conneaut, Ohio.
James enjoyed woodworking and furniture making, computers, reading, traveling, caring for his dogs, and spending time with his grandchildren. He leaves his wife of 57 years, Ethel (Knepp) Wright; his son Benjamin Wright and his wife Tammy (Helber) Wright; his son Robert Wright and his wife Sherry (Moore) Wright; his daughter Laura Wright; and his daughter Sara (Wright) Angelini and her husband Dominic Angelini. He is survived by his grandchildren Casey Wright, Whitney Wright, Sophia Angelini, Viggo Angelini, Peregrine Angelini, Klaryssa Mullinax; and his great-grandchildren Skylee and Dawson Duncan. Also surviving is a brother Clyde.
He was preceded in death by his brothers Lewis, John, Richard, and Tom, and his sisters Patricia, Alberta, and Vivian Wright.
Visitation will be held from 4:00-6:00 PM Wednesday September 18, 2019 at Marcy Funeral Home & Cremation Center, 208 Liberty Street, Conneaut OH 44030.
No services will be observed.
In lieu of flowers, you may honor James’ memory with a donation in his name to Wounded Warriors Project, PO Box 758517, Topeka, Kansas, 66675-8517. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home.
To send flowers to James' family, please visit our floral section.
Wounded Warrior Project.
PO Box 758517, Topeka KS 66675-8517