Fred McGuire Wright, Jr. departed this life to join his Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ, on Friday, May 10, 2013.
He was 88 years old,.
He was born on August 6, 1924 in Chandler, Okla. to Fred M. and Lennis B. Wright, Sr.
His family moved to Pawhuska in 1931 and he attended school there until WWII sent the family to California, where he finished high school. During this time he worked at the McDonnell-Douglas bomber plant building B-17 and A-26 bombers. After the war he attended college at Oklahoma A&M University in Stillwater where he was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.
On September 2, 1950, Fred married the former Nelda Ruth Phelps in Barnsdall, Okla. He was the co-owner of Wright’s Fashions & Gifts, and Wright’s TV & Appliances in Pawhuska. He was a man who wore many hats. He was also an auditor for Benson Lumber Company and worked for the National Bank of Commerce in Pawhuska during the 1950’s. He was a systems analyst/programmer/manager for Cities Service Oil Company in Bartlesville for more than 19 years.
In the early 70’s he felt called to spread the gospel and was ordained by the Southern Baptist Convention in 1973. He served as minister of the Osage Indian Baptist Church in Pawhuska for several years. Later he became an owner-operator of a long-haul truck and became active in ministering to truckers. This led him to being a nationally endorsed chaplain to truckers by the Assemblies of God Churches, Transport for Christ and the Chapels of Peace. In these capacities, he built and staffed chapels at truck stops. He served as a Sunday School teacher and deacon in the church, as well as working with the church ministries.
Fred earned his private pilot’s license and was active as a Civil Air Patrol Officer in 1950’s, 1970’s through mid-1980’s. A life member of Antique Airplane Association, he also served as chaplain during numerous EAA and National Bi-plane Association airshows and fly-ins. Additionally, Fred was a charter member of the Pawhuska Lions Club.
He was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Pawhuska.
Surviving family includes his wife: Nelda; daughter Vickie Cease and husband, Tim; two sons, Col. Bob Wright (U.S. Army Ret.) and wife, Barbara; Commander Bill Wright (U.S. Navy Ret.) and wife, Tammy; grandchildren Jill Ann Martinez, Mandy Swanson, Julia Wright, Holly Wright-Zollinger, Robert Wright, Jr., Lt. Kyle Wright (USN), and Jacquelyn Wilson.
He and Nelda also have nine great grandchildren, along with a host of other family and friends. Fred was preceded in death by an infant brother, his parents, grandparents and numerous aunts and uncles.
Funeral services were Tuesday, May 14, 2013, 2 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Pawhuska. Pastor Kathy Morris and Pastor Ted Hoffman will officiate. Interment will follow at the Pawhuska City Cemetery.
McCartney’s Johnson Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.