Oct 28, 1936 - Jan 18, 2010
Jim Wright, 2007 Elk Grove Citizen of the Year lost his battle with cancer and died Jan. 18 at home with his family by his side. He was 73.
He will be remembered at services Saturday, Jan. 23 beginning at 1 p.m. at the Elk Grove Park Pavilion in Elk Grove Regional Park.
The longtime community volunteer was known for his behind-the scenes work especially with the Elk Grove Historical Society where he spent many hours helping with yard work and maintenance on the Elk Grove Hotel & Stage Stop Museum, and the Rhoads School. He also opened the schoolhouse for classes every week and served on the Historical Society board.
Mr. Wright was a volunteer fireman with the Elk Grove Fire Department when the department was almost entirely made up of volunteers, and was a longtime member of the Elk Grove Lions Club.
He was born Oct. 28, 1936 in Pensacola, Fla. and grew up in southern California, graduating from Excelsior High School in Norwalk in 1955. He then went to work for General Telephone.
He met his future wife Elaine Graham at Excelsior’s football stadium. She was a student at Bellflower High School that had no stadium at the time and used Excelsior’s. The two were married Jan. 12, 1957.
In 1961 they moved to Elk Grove when Jim went to work for Citizens Utilities Co. where he stayed for 30 years as the company grew from a tiny phone service to a huge communications system.
Both Wrights shared the Citizen of the Year award, and worked as a team on many Chamber of Commerce activities, such as Street Fairs, business mixers and repairing the lights for the community Christmas tree.
Both received the annual Chamber Service Award in different years, and the latest honor was the dedication of the Jim and Elaine Wright Park in East Elk Grove in 2009 by the Cosumnes Community Services District.
“My dad was a proud citizen of Elk Grove and really loved his community,” his daughter Marlene said.
Mr. Wright was preceded in death by his son, Steven.
He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Elaine of Elk Grove; daughters Marlene Flores and husband Mario of Elk Grove and Marilyn Wright and husband Gary Johnson of Arden Park; grandchildren Amanda Rafidiarimanda and husband Didier of Paris, France, Darren McAuliffe of Grants Pass, Ore., and Max Johnson of Arden Park; and a great-grandchild on the way.
A viewing will be Friday, Jan. 22 from 4 to 8 p.m. at East Lawn Elk Grove Mortuary, 9189 East Stockton Blvd.
Following Saturday’s service, lunch will be served at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 8697 Elk Grove Blvd. Interment is in East Lawn Elk Grove Memorial Park.
Remembrances may be made to the Cosumnes Community Services District (CSD) Firemen’s Association, 8820 Elk Grove Blvd., Elk Grove, CA 95624; or to the Rhoads School, c/o Elk Grove Historical Society, P.O. Box 562, Elk Grove, CA 95759.
East Lawn Elk Grove Mortuary
9189 E. Stockton Boulevard
Elk Grove, CA