TRAVERSE CITY — Mr. and Mrs. Wilbur W. “Leonard” Wright of Traverse City celebrated their 69th wedding anniversary on Nov. 17, 2013, at Tendercare-Birchwood Health Center, where Mrs. Wright, age 90, currently lives. Mr. Wright, age 92, lives independently in his own home and drives to visit his wife frequently.
Mr. Wright is a Traverse City native and enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1942. He was stationed in Clinton, Okla., and attended aircraft hydraulics training at a Naval school in Chicago. He met the former Dorothy E. Horner when he was temporarily assigned to the office of the Chicago Naval school’s newspaper where Mrs. Wright was employed. When Mr. Wright completed his training, he returned to Oklahoma, where his future wife soon joined him.
The couple were married on Nov. 17, 1944, at the First Christian Church in Elk City, Okla., near where Mr. Wright was stationed at the Naval Air Station in Clinton, Okla. However, the marriage license was issued in neighboring Arapahoe County, so following the church ceremony, the bridal party and the minister drove the short distance over the Arapahoe County line where the couple was officially married in their car.
After World War II, the Wrights lived in Chicago, where Mr. Wright worked in the construction industry operating and repairing many types of heavy equipment. He was a member of the International Order of Operating Engineers. Mrs. Wright was a homemaker and stay-at-home mother. She was actively involved in the PTA, Cub Scouts, Brownies, and Girl Scouts. The couple moved to Traverse City in 1984 following Mr. Wright’s retirement.
The couple’s daughter, Judy (Matt) Albert, lives in Traverse City. Their son, Leonard, passed away in 2007, but he is survived by his wife, Sandra Wright of San Diego, Calif. The Wrights also have four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.