Gary N. Wright Obituary
January 17, 1937 – September 8, 2022
With thousands of miles and countless rowdy adventures behind him, Gary N. Wright pulled his semi-truck into the station one last time.
Gary passed away peacefully at home in Orem, Utah surrounded by his wife of 67 years and his six children. They were able to spend two beautiful days with him, telling stories, sharing laughter and tears and loving him on his way.
Gary was born January 17, 1937 in Grover, Wyoming to Harmon Fay Wright and Reba Eliza Nelson. He was the second of seven children born of this union.
Gary went to Thayne elementary school and graduated from Star Valley High School in Afton, Wyoming. In high school Gary played football and was part of the boxing team. He participated in the Golden Gloves Boxing Tournament in Ogden, Utah.
Gary’s love of truck driving began early when he and his father drove from Afton to Los Angeles each week to deliver fresh cheese from the Star Valley Cheese Factory.
He married his love Saundra Ruth Erickson on March 18, 1955 in Afton, Wyoming. They are the parents of six pretty amazing children – Jeffrey, Cindi, Lisa, Christine, Teresa and Michael.
The family lived in Lakewood and Buena Park, California, then moved to Idaho Falls and Pocatello, Idaho where Gary drove truck for Caribou Four Corners, Shell Oil Company and Garrett Freight Lines.
Gary and Saundra took their six kids on many adventures in the family station wagon or in the pickup truck with camp trailer and dirt bikes in tow.
In 1976 they moved back to Star Valley and purchased the Hiway Market grocery store. Gary loved driving to Pocatello each week to get groceries for the store.
Gary was an emergency medical technician on the ambulance crew and a member of the Afton Volunteer Fire Department.
In 1989 Gary went to work for Kimberly-Clark Corporation in Ogden, Utah. He drove a route that took him all across the United States and back again. He loved being out on the open road.
Retirement came in 1995 and he and Saundra moved to Orem, Utah and built a new home. In 2000 they created a space for warm winters in Casa Grande, Arizona at the Palm Creek Resort. Gary had many friends and activities there including golf, ATV riding shuffleboard, group dinners and raucous poker nights.
It was at Palm Creek that he discovered a new talent – working with a lathe in the woodshop where he made many beautiful bowls, bottle stoppers, kaleidoscopes and more. He won blue ribbons at state fairs and gave away many of his works of art. Grandpa Gary will be remembered for his great sense of humor, funny stories and the love he had for his family and friends.
Gary was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Darrell, Jack, Craig and great-grandson Daniel.
Gary is survived by his six children ~ Jeff (JoAnn), Cindi (Charlie), Lisa (Charles), Christine (Jeffrey), Teresa and Michael, nine grandchildren, fourteen great-grandchildren, siblings Kayleen, Judy and Kathy and so many others who call him Grandpa Gary.
Gary’s family would like to thank all of caregivers who have assisted over the last few years with his in-home care. Thank you for your deep kindness and loving compassion.
A graveside service will be held Friday, September 16th at Orem City Cemetery at 1:00 p.m. located at 1520 North 800 East, Orem, Utah. A viewing for family and friends will be held from 11:30-12:30 at Sundberg-Olpin Mortuary, 495 South State Street, Orem, Utah.
Condolences may be expressed to the family on this page.