Cover photo for John Wright's Obituary
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1955 John 2022

John Wright

October 24, 1955 — August 16, 2022

John Andrew Wright arrived in the world in 1955 as a birthday gift for his mom, Mary “Sue” Wright, who turned 41 on that October 24th. He was the last of five boys: Charles Benjamin "C.B.", Peter, David, and Stephen.

John passed on August 16th, 2022, at the age of 66 in Las Vegas, Nevada. He was preceded in death by his dad, Benjamin Ogilvie Wright, in 1958, his mom in 1982, and his oldest brother, C.B., in 1996.

His brother, Stephen, remembers that John was called a “really big” newborn, but the descriptor “big” later shifted to explain his heart for others, including his family, nephews and nieces, friends, and co-workers. Big also described his quick smile and hearty laugh. For most of his life, the world was a better place because he was in it.

It wasn’t “easy street” on Stratford Avenue. His mom was one of the few single mothers around town and she raised her boys on a tight budget funded only from Social Security and her part-time retail job. For John and his brothers that meant earning money for just about anything extra. John got a job in his early teens at the local hardware store where he learned about customer service. Later he worked at the local McDonald’s for a few years with his brother, learning production.

John grew up in South Pasadena, CA in the 1960s and 70s. The family home was on a street filled with children and the sounds of sports, mini-bikes, mischief, and learning – including learning how to watch out for each other, help each other and care for each other. John attended South Pasadena High School where he played guard for the varsity football team.

John’s understanding of God and His work in the world came from his home. John grew up in a Catholic home where he went to church at Holy Family Catholic Church near the family home. Later John’s friend Donna Clint, whom he met at the Calvary Chapel Christian Concert in Southern California, introduced him to the four spiritual laws that moved John to accept Christ as his personal Savior in February of 1975. This life-changing experience was the foundation that guided him to travel as a missionary to Kenya in 1978. There John explored the idea of one day becoming a missionary but following that experience knew it was not what God was calling him to do. After his mission in Africa, John had addresses to look up his father’s relatives in England. There he was able to visit his father’s childhood home and meet many of his relatives. His cousin Bill Close supported him in his travels. The missionary experience and time in Europe changed his life forever.

As a young adult, John was an almost daily companion to his mom during her final time battling cancer. About this time, he also began to set his sights on owning his own businesses. John was confident when it came to jobs, and he had an appetite for life adventures, including enjoying the open road while riding his Honda 750 motorcycle on long trips and exploring the country.

John's interest in owning and running his own business grew when he began working as a salesman for his cousin Bill's company Kirk Paper. During this period of his life, he was attending Lake Avenue Congregational Church. In October of 1981, John went to a singles retreat through the church where he met Marie Mackowiak, a registered nurse at Los Angeles County Hospital. They instantly had a bond and became close friends. Over the next year and a half, they developed a deep love. They were married on April 23, 1983, on the hillside under the waterfall at the Los Angeles Police Academy Revolver Club right next to Dodger Stadium.

When first married John and Marie bought a Harley and spent time camping along the west coast. Shortly thereafter they purchased their first home in San Gabriel, California, and their first business Custom Needlecraft Finishing, which was located a mile away.

As time went on, they traded their motorcycle for devotion to business and family time. In 1988 they successfully moved the business to Albany, Oregon and in 1990 they realized their dream of living in the country with the purchase of an 80-acre farm “The Bear Farm” in Turner. The biggest blessing in John and Marie’s new lives together was the gift of their two sons Joshua Abraham in 1989 and Jacob Aaron in 1991. John also had much joy from the birth of his grandson Joseph Anthony in 2021.

On the farm, John developed a love of livestock and learned to train and breed horses. He loved having his wife home to be able to homeschool his sons and to share in imparting his love of the outdoors, camping, hiking, and mountains. John and Marie raised the boys in the way of the Lord within the Messianic Jewish faith through home fellowship with family and close friends.

In 2002 after several additional business ventures in Oregon including a gas station and a floral preservation company the family was on to their next adventure in Las Vegas, Nevada. John found work at a vending machine company which he later purchased and operated with his wife and sons.

After a marriage of 25 years, John and Marie divorced in 2008.

Marie remembers John's deep love for the Almighty God, family, friends, and hard work; his electric personality, happy demeanor, honesty, sincerity, and creativity as well as how romantic John was. He always had little surprises to brighten a day, he was kind and sweet and very loving.

John never lost his sense of adventure in life and was always looking for the next opportunity to turn strangers into friends. He talked to and got to know people everywhere he went. He loved helping anyone in any way he could and truly knew no stranger. In wanting to help everyone around him, John would often lend his spare room out to people in need or take care of the occasional pet. He even stopped a purse snatching on the street for which he received a black eye.

John enjoyed riding his bike and going for walks around his neighborhood. Oftentimes he could be found joining in activities at the local community center. He enjoyed trying new restaurants and attempted to never miss the opening of a new casino in town. Over the last fifteen years, John spent a lot of time with his best friend, Divannea Fladger, and her son Davari, who John greatly enjoyed watching grow into a young man.

Divannea remembers John as someone who shared in the good and bad times of life. As someone who showed her the definition of a true gentleman, and whose big heart made his pension to be stubborn and stuck in his ways no boundary to their friendship. They spent time trying new restaurants together and deliberating John's favorite, In-N-Out Burger.

In the end, John was always strong and willing to work hard to get things done. John’s strong willingness to go out of his way to help others and his ability to bring laughter and joy to those around him created truly cherishable moments. John was an amazing man who had a positive influence on all he met! He was loved!

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