Mary Elizabeth Wright, 81, of Centralia, Washington, passed away Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022, at Tacoma General Hospital. Mary was born Aug. 5, 1941, in Terre Haute, Indiana, to John Richard and Dorothy Francis (Spencer) Cottom. Her family moved to Southern California when she was young. Years after finishing high school, Mary decided to expand her horizons, enrolling at El Camino College in Gardena, California, and earning her degree as a licensed practical nurse.
Mary met her honey, Ronald Wright, in 1974, at Jerry Joe’s, an establishment run by her sister and brother-in-law in the nearby city of Lomita during a lunch break. After a whirlwind courtship, the couple blended their families and got married in Pittsburg, California. They divorced several years later, but after a 20-year break, Mary “lured” Ron back (his words!) and they married a second time in Reno, Nevada. This time, it was a charm!
She was a compassionate nurse. Mary concentrated on serving residents at nursing homes, including Centralia’s Prestige (formerly Liberty Country Place), Centralia Point (formerly Cooks Hill Manor) and Riverside Nursing Home. She was blessed enough to be able to work with Ron and her daughter, Connie, at Liberty and Cooks Hill Manor.
Mary was a great mom and wonderful wife. She enjoyed baking; gambling in Reno, Vegas or our local spot, Lucky Eagle; traveling and going on cruises to Mexico, Europe, Alaska and Hawaii; gardening whenever she could; and listening to Bob Seger and Kenny Rogers.
Mary was preceded in death by her parents; daughter, Jacynda; and sons, Stanley and Clinton. She is lovingly remembered by her husband, Ron; daughters, Connie Ingles, Daphne Pharris and Kimberly Wright; many grandchildren and great-grandchildren; brother, John Cottom; sisters, Francis Drolet and Darla Baker; and numerous nieces and nephews.
There will be a celebration of Mary’s life at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022 at the Ford’s Prairie Grange. All are welcome to bring a favorite dish and share memories of this special woman.