James Carson “Jim” Wright, age 82, of Wellsville, Kan., passed away Monday, Nov. 18, 2019, at the Wellsville Retirement Community.
Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019, at the Wellsville Baptist Church. Interment will follow services in the Wellsville Cemetery. Visitation will be from 5-8 p.m. Friday evening, also at the church. Memorial contributions may be made to the Wellsville Historical Society, the Wellsville Baptist Church or the Wellsville Retirement Community Memory Care House in care of Wilson’s, PO Box 486, Wellsville, KS 66092.
James Carson Wright was born Feb. 16, 1937, in Wellsville, Kan., the son of Herbert Carson and Darlyne Mildred (Ritter) Wright. He grew up in Wellsville and graduated from WHS in 1955. On Feb. 2, 1957, he married Barbara Jo Blackwell at the Wellsville Baptist Church. They were married 62 years before his passing. She survives at the home.
Jim attended Ottawa University and graduated with his bachelor’s degree in 1960. He began his teaching career at Wellsville Jr./Sr. High School in 1960 where he taught math for 39 years and also coached several sports for 46 years. Coach Wright was instrumental in making monumental contributions to the Wellsville High School track program as he served as the head coach for 37 years. The track program was a labor of love for him as he spent countless hours with his family and fellow coaches maintaining the grounds and facility.
He earned Track Coach of the Year for the state of Kansas in 1988 and the Jim Wright Track was dedicated in his honor in 1999. He was loved by his students, athletes and colleagues and on May 20, 2006, he was inducted onto the Wellsville Wall of Fame.
Coming back to his hometown after college to teach and coach was a dream fulfilled for Jim, and it is notable to mention his love and mutual respect for his fellow teachers, coaches and even referees. His guidance, love and dedication to those he touched through coaching and teaching has left a vast, everlasting and far-reaching impact on many decades of students and athletes he taught and mentored.
Jim was a member of the Wellsville Baptist Church and spent many years serving as an usher there. He filled his summers painting with his friends, Dick Raugewitz and Norman Brammell and later, Bill Oshel and Duane McCarty. He also enjoyed hunting with his friends, Randy Renoud and Kermit Deterding for many years.
Jim is survived by his wife of the home; son, Brad (Carol) Wright of Baldwin City; son, Curt (Karen) Wright of Wellsville; daughter, Jana (Joe) Tobin of Olathe; six grandchildren; six great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother, Jerry Wright; and two sisters, Joanne Scribner and Carolee Rutter.