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George Wright, Former Malverne Trustee, Dies

Remembered for keeping the village looking beautiful.

Former Trustee George Wright died Saturday morning at the age of 83 at his home in Lewisburg, Penn. after battling cancer.

Wright was born in Lincoln, Ill. on June 12, 1929, according to an obituary published on a local Pennsylvania news site, but spent much of his life in New York. There, he received his Bachelor's of Science in Nursing from Hunter College and a Master's degree in hospital administration from Columbia University. Wright worked as a hospital administrator at St. Charles Hospital in Port Jefferson, the Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn and Greenwich Hospital in Connecticut. 

But Malverne was the place Wright chose to settle down and raise his family. He and his wife, Ann Hennessy, were married for 49 years, and had three children. During the more than 30 years that Wright called Malverne home, he worked to make the village a more beautiful place to live.

He was president of the Westwood Civic Association, through which he worked with the local fire department to arrange the Santa rides through the neighborhood for the kids each Christmas time. He also served on Malverne's Tree and Beautification Committee, and was also elected to the village's Board of Trustees, where he held the title of Police Commissioner.

"He was a good trustee for the village, a very conservative individual who cared about nature and the look of the village," Deputy Mayor Joseph Hennessy recalled. (Wright served on the board when Hennessy was mayor.) 

"George was against fences, but if you put a natural barrier in front of it so that what the other residents saw was bushes or trees, he let it go," Hennessy told Patch. "But if you just wanted to put up a fence on the corner, 'No way!' You wouldn't get the vote from him."

Wright is also credited with starting the village's and so every spring for the past two decades, a tree has been planted in someone's honor in the village. This year, inside Gaddis Park in honor of the late Deputy Mayor James Callahan. Hennessy plans to formally request the Tree and Beautification Committee plant a tree in Wright's honor inside Westwood during next year's Arbor Day ceremony.

A U.S. Navy veteran who served in the Korean War, Wright also belonged to the in Malverne. He and his wife were both active with their church, St. James United Methodist Church in Lynbrook, and he held several positions with the Long Island West District, New York Annual Conferences of the United Methodist Church. He was board president of Linden Hill United Methodist Cemetery, and founding board member of United Methodist Mission in Far Rockaway.

"He was a terrific family man ... a true servant to the village and his church," Hennessy added.

When he retired to Pennsylvania, Wright became active in the Susquehanna Visitors Center, Meals on Wheels, American Red Cross, and Beaver Memorial United Methodist Church. In his spare time, he enjoyed gardening and garage sales.

Wright's parents --  Joseph A and Bessie Mae (Allen) Wright --- are deceased, but he is survived by his wife, his children and their spouses, Lisa and Bill Bernard, of Lewisburg, Alison and Rich Werkmeister, of Sparta, N.J., and Bill and Michelle Wright. of Torrance. Calif. Wright also leaves behind seven grandchildren, Rich Werkmeister, Zac Werkmeister, Billy Wright, Jake Werkmeister, Shawn Wright, Emily Bernard and Ryan Wright.

A funeral service will be held Wednesday at 10 a.m. at Beaver Memorial United Methodist Church in Lewisburg. Burial will follow in Ft. Indiantown Gap National Cemetery.

The family will provide flowers and asks that donations in George’s memory be made to Beaver Memorial United Methodist Church, 40 S. Third St., Lewisburg, PA 17837, or the American Cancer Society, 1948 E Third St., Williamsport, PA 17701.

Toni Sussman June 27, 2012 at 07:25 PM
I was truly sadden by the passing of George Wright, a dedicated elected official and an absolute gentleman. Instrumental in creating our villagewide curbline tree planting, George's legacy lives on in Malverne. My deepest condolences to Ann and the Wright Family. Toni Sussman
Angela Zucaro June 27, 2012 at 08:25 PM
George Wright was a true gentleman and so dedicated to his elected position as Village Trustee. His care and nurturing of Malverne lives on in our beautiful tree-lined streets and Village traditions that still continue today. My deepest sympathy to Ann and the Wright family. -Angela Zucaro
Bill Wright June 28, 2012 at 06:39 PM
I just wanted to say thank you for this wonderful article on my father and for the kind comments that followed. My Dad was very proud to be a part of the Malverne community and took great pride in the work that he accomplished along side his friends and colleagues. Although we have all moved away, Malverne was where our family grew together and it will always have a very special place in our hearts and memories! Thank you again for honoring my Dad, he would be very touched. -Bill Wright
Lorraine bracher June 28, 2012 at 08:03 PM
George and I met when installed to the Malverne Village Board as trustees and members of opposing parties. As we worked together we became very good friends. Ann and George moved away about the same time our family moved, but we kept in touch via emails. He always had something to send that made us smile, especially after losing our son....he always kept in touch. Our family sends our love, prayers and fond remembrances of a fine gentleman who will be sorely missed. Lorraine Bracher

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