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Richard Wright

Obituary of Richard Eugene Wright

Richard Eugene "Dick" Wright, 91, of Peru, New York, died Tuesday, January Twelfth, 2021, while undergoing Hospice care at his son Neil's home in Saranac, New York, with his family by his side. Dick was born in Keene Valley, New York, on May 24th, 1929, to Richard and Catherine Wright. As a young man growing up during the great depression, he hunted in the Adirondack mountains in order to help put food on the family table, especially during the winter. Hunting and fishing remained favorite outdoor activities of his for the rest of his life. He had a brother (Frank 'Wilbur') and two sisters (Joyce and June). He was known to his neighbors as a shy but very nice young man who loved sports and was very strong and active. As his father was known locally as 'Dick', Richard decided early on not to go through life being known as 'Little Dick', and so opted instead to go by his middle name Eugene - 'Gene' for short - the name by which he is known around his home town to this day. As teenagers, he and his brother Wilbur ('Wib') worked through frigid mountain winters cutting blocks of ice out of the Ausable Lakes, an 8-mile walk (each way) from home, transporting them by sleds to the Ice House at the Ausable Club, to provide refrigeration throughout the summer for the guests and cooks there. They were employed by local entrepreneurs Archie Brooks and Ray Trumble, both of whom would claim that the Wright brothers were good, hard workers if one could afford to feed them! Gene and Wib's appetites were legendary, regularly consuming four thick sandwiches and a quart of milk EACH, just for lunch. 'Gene' once ate 23 scoops of ice cream consecutively, on a bet with the owner of the ice cream parlor he frequented. He graduated Keene Valley high school in 1947, where his academics were adequate but he had the distinction of being the tallest member of his class of 12 fellow students. At the time, Dick set his career sights on becoming an Adirondack guide. He spent his summers rowing an Adirondack Guide Boat on the Ausable Lakes where he was known for his tireless endurance and his uncanny ability to find hidden boat carries (paths to transport boats by hand between neighboring lakes) in the pitch black mountain nights. In 1950, at 21 years old, his friend aimed to take the New York State Trooper exam and asked Dick to go with him. His friend failed the test, but Dick passed, and a new chapter of his life dawned. He served as a Trooper from 1950-1956; this remained one of the proudest achievements of his life. Receiving a draft notice in 1951, Dick's police years were interrupted as he joined the Army and served through 1 1/2 years of the Korean War. Much of that time was served in Iceland, where he felt comfortable and right at home among ice fields and glaciers and in the sub-freezing temperatures. In the 50's the troopers were a para-military organization, requiring off-duty troopers to remain in the barracks on call, even if married, with a few nights off per month. Dick had met and decided he wanted to marry a certain New York City fashion-model-turned-teacher he had met on a blind date at the Spread Eagle Inn in Keene Valley, named Geraldine "Gerry" Nolan. She refused to marry him if he would not be home with her each night, so she used her teaching salary to pay for Dick to attend Plattsburgh State University, where he majored in mathematics education with help from his former Keene Valley HS math teacher. Dick and Gerry Wright married on August 26th, 1956 at St. Agnes Catholic Church in Lake Placid, and he left the State Troopers. Dick graduated college in 1959 and became a math teacher in the Peru Central School system that same year. His son Neil was born in 1960 and then Scott in 1963. Winning a mathematics scholarship, he pursued graduate studies in mathematics for one year at the SUNY in Syracuse NY. His third son, Mark, was born during that year in 1968. Dick and Gerry retired from Peru Central Schools in 1991 - Dick having taught for 32 years and Gerry for 35. He served the state as a DEC certified hunter-safety instructor from the 1960's through the 80's, teaching thousands of young men and women about firearms safety and helping them secure their first hunting licenses during that time. Wherever he went, the mountains and forests of the Adirondacks remained his second home and he would always return to hunt, fish and hike throughout his life, into his 80's, always with at least one of his three boys by his side. Dick is survived by his two sons Mark and Neil, his sister June Rideout, his daughters-in-law Laurie Wright and Viyachat Wright, and his grandchildren Marie, Nicholas and Elizabeth Wright and great-grandchildren Calvin and Maxine Thomason. He was predeceased by his son Scott and his wife of 62 years, Gerry. Relatives and friends may call Saturday, January 16, 2021 from 2 to 3 PM at the Hamilton Funeral Home, 294 Mannix Road, Peru. A funeral service will follow at 3 PM in the Hamilton Funeral Home Chapel. For those attending, face coverings and social distancing will be required. For those unable to attend, the funeral may be viewed live at 3 PM on the Hamilton Funeral Home Facebook page. The funeral will remain on the page indefinitely, to be viewed later. Arrangements are in the care of the Hamilton Funeral Home, 294 Mannix Road, Peru, 643-9055.
Saturday
16
January

Visitation at Funeral Home

2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Saturday, January 16, 2021
Hamilton Funeral Home Inc.
294 Mannix Road
Peru, New York, United States
Saturday
16
January

Funeral Service

3:00 pm
Saturday, January 16, 2021
Hamilton Funeral Home Inc.
294 Mannix Road
Peru, New York, United States