Willy Frances Wright, age 104, died on January 19, 2018. She was born June 19, 1913 in Bedford, Virginia, the daughter of late Raymond Wright and Mary Clay Saunders-Wright. She was one of 12 children. Ten of her siblings preceded her in death. They are: Dora Wright, Walter Wright, James Wright, Elizabeth Wright, Ruth Wright, Oscar Wright, Ryland Wright, Eula James, Virgie Laws, and Margaret Wright. She is survived by one sister, Dr. Bernice Catherine Harper of Rockville, Maryland.
Miss Wright was a 1932 graduate of the former Watson High School in Covington, Virginia. Upon leaving Covington, she made her career as a Federal employee, beginning in the payroll office for the Marine Corps in Washington, DC. Throughout her career she received several commendations and was promoted into other areas. In the mid 1970’s, when the office relocated to Kansas City, Missouri, she moved with it. She retired after 37 years in the Federal service and moved back to Washington in 2002.
Religion and service to God were the centerpieces of Miss Wright’s life. She joined the First Baptist Church of Covington, Virginia at an early age. Throughout her adult life, she was an active member of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, serving on multiple boards and in other official roles. She was a member of the Bethel AME Church in Kansas City, Missouri where she was President of the Lay Organization. From 2002 until her death she was a member of Turner Memorial AME in Hyattsville, Maryland.
In addition to her sister, Dr. Harper, Miss Wright is survived by four generations of nieces and nephews including a devoted great nephew, Dr. James E. Laws, Jr. of Washington, DC. Although Miss Wright had no children of her own, she reared two children who became like daughters to her. They are Jessica Paige of Laurel, Maryland and the late Thomasina McLeach.
At the age of 104, Miss Wright continued to live independently in her own home until the final few months of her life. During the celebration of her 100th birthday, she was asked what she attributed to her long and healthy life. She responded, “Family, good friends, companionship, and most importantly, trust in God.” She will be remembered for her keen fashion sense and her love for elaborate church hats.
A celebration of life memorial service will be held at the Turner Memorial AME Church at 7201 16th Place, Hyattsville, Maryland on Thursday, January 25. The family will receive friends at the church at 10:30 am and services will begin at 11:00 am.
Funeral service will be held at the First Baptist Church, 337 South Lexington Avenue in Covington, Virginia on Saturday, January 27, Reverend Willie Cannon officiating. The family will receive friends at the church at 10:00 am and the service will begin at 11:00 am. Interment will be in the Cedar Hill Cemetery, Covington, Virginia.
Arrangements are being handled by Loving Funeral Home; www.lovingfuneralhome1913.com