Thomas Neal Wright (Tom) passed away on August 10, 2020 at FWB Medical Center. He was 86 years old. Tom was born on February 1, 1934, in Reagan, Tennessee to Riley and Loys Wright. Along with his wife of 66 years, Mary and Tom were very proud of the years they spent growing up in Arbyrd, a tiny cotton farming town in the bootheel of Missouri. Following high school, Tom enlisted in the Air Force. He was honored to serve his country for 26 years, which included two tours of duty during the Vietnam War. In 1967, Tom was assigned to Eglin Air Force Base. Tom and Mary have lived in Valparaiso since that time. After Tom retired from the Air Force, he worked in Civil Service as an Air Crew Scheduler. This job provided him the opportunity to meet many pilots who were later chosen as NASA astronauts. In the 53 years Tom lived in Valparaiso, he was an active and committed member of First Baptist Church Valparaiso and First Baptist Church Niceville. He was steady and faithful to God, his wife, and his family. Tom lived a full life, and was an amazing husband, father, granddad, friend, Sunday School teacher, golfing buddy, and the best yard man in Valparaiso.
Tom is survived by his wife, Mary; 4 children, Angie Bell (Richard), Pam Martin (James), Kathy Wright, and Tim Wright; 3 grandchildren, Will Bell (Allison), Cooper Bell (Grace), and Mallory Wright; as well as 2 brothers, Joe, Jim (Judy), and many nieces and nephews.
The family cannot say “thank you” enough to the following people: the CVICU staff at FWBMC, especially Rachel, Megan, Tara, George, Dr. Yandel, and Dr. Rustmann, as well as the Valparaiso Fire Department, EMS, and many others who were so gracious to the family during this difficult time.
A Celebration of Life service will be held on Saturday, August 15, 10:00 AM at First Baptist Niceville. The service will also be livestreamed on the church’s website. A grave side service, with full military honors, will follow at Sunset Cemetery in Valparaiso. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting memorial donations be made to the Benevolent Ministry of First Baptist Niceville.
Expressions of love and sympathy may be viewed or placed at www.mclaighlintwincities.com.
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