James LaMont Wright, Sr., 83, of Orem, passed away Wednesday, December 30, 2020. He was born September 24, 1937, in Seminole, Oklahoma to George Campbell (Tobey) Wright and Leatha Vignia Winfrey. He married Janet Tanner on June 28, 1963, in the Los Angeles Temple.
James served in the U.S. Air Force from 1956 to 1960 with training in Chinese language at Yale University and training in cryptanalysis at March Air Force Base in Riverside, California, prior to his assignment to the Cambrai-Fritch Kaserne Military Base near Darmstadt, Germany. He received his law degree from Pacific Coast Law School in 1971. Following a successful career in law as a Los Angeles County Marshal, a Court Clerk, and an Attorney, James was appointed in 1987 by California Governor George Deukmejian as Judge of the Long Beach Municipal Court, and later as Judge of the California Superior Courts. Throughout his life, James gave active service to the Long Beach community including as President of the Long Beach Young Republicans, President of the Long Beach-Quingdao China Sister City Committee, and President of the Young Horizons Foundation. Following retirement James and his wife Janet spent over three years teaching English in China at universities in Xi’an, Beijing, and Wuxi. In Utah, James was an active member of the local Kiwanis Club, was a teacher of the World and I class in the Elder Quest Program of Utah Valley University, and served (with Janet) at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah. He was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served as a scoutmaster, home teacher, seminary teacher, ward clerk, bishopric member, branch president, bishop, and high councilor. He was an outstanding and loving father and grandfather, and was loved greatly by his family, friends, and all those who have been blessed by his selfless service around the world.
James is survived by his two sisters: Pamela Houston of Buena Park, California; and Cheryl LeMmon of Long Beach, California; his wife, Janet Tanner Wright of Orem, Utah; his six children: James L. Wright, Jr. of Orem, Utah; Wayne E. Wright of Lafayette, Indiana; Laurie S. Dukes, of Midway, Georgia; Connie L. Wilson of Lake Forest, California; Mark A. Wright of Orem, Utah; Jonathan M. Wright of Tehachapi, California; and by his 12 grandchildren.
A viewing for family and friends will be held on Thursday, January 7 from 6-8 p.m. at Sundberg-Olpin Mortuary, 495 South State Street, Orem. Funeral services will be Friday, January 8th at 11:00 am at Sundberg-Olpin Mortuary, with a viewing from 9:30-10:30 a.m. prior to the services. Interment will be in the Utah Veterans Cemetery in Bluffdale, Utah, with military rites. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Latter-day Saints Charities Humanitarian Aid Fund ( https://philanthropies.churchofjesuschrist.org/humanitarian-services ).
A Facebook Live Stream will be available to those unable to attend at 11 a.m. on Friday, January 8 at this link : https://www.facebook.com/sundbergolpinfuneralhome