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4/1/13

Death of A Classmate - Captain James R. Wright, 9th Co


Captain James R. Wright, USN (Ret.) of Carmel, CA passed away March 25, 2013 surrounded by immediate family. He was 81 years old.  Jim is survived by his beloved wife of 52 years, Beth, daughters, Kimberly Wright Youngdale of Yosemite and Susan Wright Pollara of Honolulu, son-in-laws Steve Youngdale and Paul Pollara, and the apple-of-his-eye grandson James Nolan Pollara ("Jimmy" who loves his "Tappa").
Born March 17, 1932 in Washington DC, to a proud U.S. Marine family - Semper Fi!- Jim served in the U.S. Navy following his graduation from that city's Columbian Prep. His years of active duty from 1954 to 1977 began with his graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis and included two years at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey (ordnance engineer) and attendance at the Naval War College. Jim's duty at sea included command of the USS PORTAGE and the USS SHELTON. He also served as an ASW Officer aboard the USS WREN and CIC and Missile Control Officer aboard the USS TOLEDO. He was awarded a Bronze Star–Combat V in 1973. Jim's shore duty included Weapons Training Officer-Fleet Training Group-Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Director Test and Evaluation-Naval Ship Weapons Systems Engineering Station and Project Manager Harpoon and Cruise Missiles-NAVSEA, Washington, D.C.
After retiring, Jim was Executive Director of the Monterey History and Art Association and Project Manager for Development and Construction of the Stanton Center Maritime Museum. He served on the Carmel City Council for 14 years and returned to the classroom, gaining a Juris Doctorate at the Monterey College of Law.
Jim loved reading and had an extensive collection of books. He enjoyed travel and he and Beth had their passports stamped with the names of many countries. He followed politics closely and discussed them, and other news developments of interest, with a keen and analytical mind. And while his modesty would probably prevent Jim from accepting the description "raconteur," he had a knack for recounting life events in both an interesting and entertaining way. One of his great joys was playing chess, and he was an accomplished player. If this game exists in Heaven, Jim may well be saying "Checkmate" to an opponent right about now.
A private memorial is planned. The Wright Family requests that those wanting to honor Jim's memory make a donation in his name to the U.S. Naval Academy Midshipman fund.
Anyone fortunate enough to know Jim will always remember a thoughtful, kind and decent man, a devoted husband and loving father and grandfather, who forever remained true to his values and principles. 
"All Lines In," Captain Wright.

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