William Penny Wright, 77, died peacefully at home on Aug. 1, 2019.
Bill (Penny) was the son of William P. and Marie Wright of Cadosia, N.Y. He graduated from Hancock Central School in 1960 and enlisted in the United States Army where he served from 1960 until 1966. During his service, he was awarded the Meritorious Service Award for serving in Korea, the Bronze Star Medal for Heroism with V device for Valor while serving in Vietnam, and the NYS Conspicuous Service award for good conduct during his six years of service.
During his lifetime Bill had many accomplishments, careers and success stories. After the Army, he went into business with his father-in-law Russell Neild, operating Neild and Wright General Store in Preston Park, Pa., where he was affectionately known as “the Butcher.” He then attended Embry Riddle Aeronautical University where he received his degree in Aviation Transportation, along with his Single Engine Fixed Wing Pilot’s License, Single Rotor Helicopter Pilot’s License, and his Airframe and Powerplant License.
Bill then attended the University of Central California where he received his Bachelor of Science Degree and then went on to get his Teaching Credential from California State Community College. He went to work for Avco Lycoming in Lancaster, Calif., from 1977-1983 installing Aircraft Turbine Engines in M1 Abrams Military Tanks. In 1983 he founded Wright’s General and Electrical Contracting in Wrightwood, Calif., a successful enterprise he operated for over 20 years. During this time, he found great satisfaction in serving as a youth pastor at First Baptist Church, Wrightwood Calif.
Bill lived a full life but will most fondly be remembered as a loving father, grandfather and husband. His quiet, friendly and warm demeanor won over the hearts of as many people as did his cooking. His kindness and compassion towards others will be greatly missed and he will remain forever in our hearts.
Bill is survived by his loving wife Tina of 17 years; his children Audrey and John O’Brien of Starlight, Pa., Linda and Terrence O’Brien of Hancock, N.Y., Jon and Nicole Wright of Carlsbad, Calif., Tim Wright and Christie Baca of Lake Forest, Calif., David and Brittany Sanchez and Matthew Wright of Gardendale, Texas. Grandchildren include Everly and Hudson Wright, Joe, Leeann, Shane, Megan, Terrence Jr. and Chelsey O’Brien and Great Grandson TJ O’Brien.
Also included are his loving sister and brother June Cook and James Wright as well as several nieces, nephews and friend and family.
A memorial service is planned for Saturday, Sept. 21, at Riverside Cemetery beginning at 11 a.m.
Donations in lieu of flowers can be made in Bill’s Memory to: Hancock American Legion Post 289, 210 Pennsylvania Ave. Hancock, NY 13783 or Kindred Hospice, 3801 West Main St., Russellville, AR 72801.