Thomas Franklin Wright of Hope Mills, NC passed away October 31, 2021, at the age of 89.
He was born on February 1, 1932, in Edenton, NC to Henry William Wright and Elva Elizabeth Mitchell Wright Folk.
He is survived by his children and two sons-in-law, Ralph Wright of Spring Lake, NC; Marena Stewart-Wright Groll and Kevin Groll of Rolesville, NC; Thomas and Kathy Wright of Temecula, CA; and Vivian and Billie Evans, and Rhonda Wright of Fayetteville, NC.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Clara Stewart Wright, his youngest son Frankie Lee, stepfather Pressley Folk, and two daughters-in-law, Dawn Wright and Claire Chapman-Wright.
He is survived by eight grandchildren, Glen along with his wife Sybil, Jay, Samantha, Joshua, Tina along with her husband James, Amber, Jeremiah, and Sarah, and four great grandchildren, Crystal, Elijah, Mary, and Jabari.
Thomas cared deeply for children and ended every prayer with the words, “… and bless the children everywhere.” After their children had grown, Thomas and Clara also opened their hearts and home to 60+ foster children. He served 15 years as a guardian ad-litem for Cumberland County. He and Clara advocated through the courts and legislature for an amendment to House Bill 896 Child Welfare Changes (Cory Bradley’s Law) to make our state a safer place for children.
Thomas retired as a Technical Sergeant in the United States Air Force with over 20 years of service to the country he dearly loved. His model airplane collection is “legend” as a testament to his fondness for his service to his country. After his military retirement Thomas worked for over 20 years as an industrial electrician; he and Clara were both certified emergency medical technicians; and he worked several years as a board operator for the WFAY radio station.
To all his friends and family who seek comfort, know that in the spirit of “High Flight,” the words of which he treasured, he has indeed, slipped the surly bonds of earth, put out his hand, and touched the face of God.
His homecoming service is Sunday, November 7, 2021, at 2:00 pm at Camp Ground United Methodist Church in Fayetteville, NC followed by a graveside service at the church cemetery. Family and friends are invited to gather for fellowship with light refreshments at the church following the services.
Masking is being observed at both the church and graveside services as is social distancing. Those protocols will be observed as appropriate during the fellowship gathering.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Lloyd Auman Elementary School for their Social Work Fund (6882 Raeford Rd, Fayetteville NC 28304) or to the Trinity United Methodist Church for their Food Pantry (6974 Raeford Rd, Fayetteville NC, 28304).
Services are entrusted to Sullivan’s Highland Funeral Service & Crematory, Inc.