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Vernon T. Wright

May 06, 1929 - December 04, 2016

Vernon Telpher Wright - May 6, 1929-December 4, 2016 - Vern was the second of four children born to Adam and Martha Wright. He was born at home in North Idaho. His father, a lumberjack, caused them to move frequently. This taught Vern to make friends easily. He attended Coeur d'Alene high school where he played on the football team. After graduation, he joined the Air National Guard and trained as an aircraft mechanic. He joined just as the war was ending and jobs were scarce. He met his wife, Betty Lou, just prior to leaving for the guard. On return, they were married in 1948 at the Presbyterian church in Coeur d'Alene and moved to Spokane. They moved to Minneapolis for a couple years, where their first child, David, was born. A year and a half later they returned to Spokane, settling on the North side of town. Dennis was born a few years later. In 1958 they built a house in the Linwood area of town. Their daughter Barbara was born 2 years later. Vern and Betty Lou went camping with friends at Priest Lake in the early 1950's. They were hooked. They bought a small boat and began making the trek to the "Lake" every weekend during the summer. This tradition continued over the next 60 years. Once retired, they became volunteer forest rangers, cleaning campsites, being campground hosts, cruising the lake in their boat, and helping the forest service on various projects all over the lake. Vern even played Smokey the Bear for weekend presentations. They spent their "off" hours picking huckleberries, up to 100 gallons each summer. Vern worked as a salesman, selling auto parts and accessories. He loved this work. He traveled all over the greater Spokane and Coeur d'Alene area. Everywhere he went, he made friends. In their love of travel, Vern and Betty Lou took many trips all over the world. After retiring, they became snowbirds and traveled the country in their RV, spending the summers at Priest Lake. Vern attended Knox Presbyterian Church for many years, serving as an elder and deacon. He was also a Master Mason and member of the Scottish Rite. He served as Associate Guardian for Job's Daughters during the years his daughter was in the order. Recently, he was a greeter and usher for church services at Broadway Court. Eventually Vern and Betty Lou sold the RV and moved to Broadway Court Estates, across the street from where their home was when they were first married. Vern became the greeter and social butterfly for the facility. He loved showing potential residents around. Vern was strong, stubborn, and healthy, and loved learning new things. He stayed involved as part of community outreach. He was an avid Ham radio operator. He worked as a volunteer for the department of emergency management. He helped coordinate services for Bloomsday for many years. He was always ready to help wherever there was a need. He enjoyed email and Facebook for keeping up with family and friends. He and Betty Lou recently celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary. Vern passed away peacefully, after struggling with complications from cancer. He was surrounded by family and friends. Vern is survived by his wife, brothers Duane and Barton, three children, eight grandchildren, and seven great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his sister Shirley Sorbel and granddaughter, Christy Wilson. Special thanks to Broadway Court, Colonial Court, Horizon Hospice, and special friend Doris. A private family service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Masonic Grand Lodge of Washington. Community Cremation & Funeral Spokane Valley - 13127 E. Sprague Ave, Spokane Valley, WA 99216, (509)926-2020 -


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