In Memory

John Leland Wright - Class Of 1938

John Leland Wright

John (Lee) Leland Wright passed away peacefully at home on December 30, 2017. He was born October 7, 1920 in Oakland, California and later moved to Pasadena with his parents and half-brother Dick and sister, Carlie. Lee's father, William, was a dentist to the film community and his mother, Leonora, was a kindergarten teacher. In his teens he helped to bring in money for his family after his father's death by 'riding the rails', following the vegetable harvests up and down the California coast. After high school, Lee spent one year at the University of California, Los Angeles, before being accepted into the Coast Guard Academy. He graduated with honors with a degree in Engineering. He was on the boxing team while at the Academy, winning championships in the light-heavyweight division.

While on Christmas holiday in 1945, Lee spent the break with a Coast Guard buddy in Bradford, Pennsylvania, where he met the love of his life, Mary Isabel (Mizzie) Streeter. They married in 1947. After he completed his commitment to the Coast Guard, they moved to Wellsville, New York to work for The Bradley Producing Corporation, an oil and gas production company. In 1953, Lee, Mizzie and their young sons John and Bill, moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where Lee opened a branch of the company. Bradley Producing Corporation was later purchased by MAPCO, Inc. and Lee served as Senior Vice President of Production until his retirement in 1980. He subsequently formed Wright Resources Corporation which continues to this day.

Having settled in Tulsa, Lee and Mizzie had two more children, David and Sarah and became active members in the community and their church. Lee was Scout Master for several years, a deacon, and sat on different boards to help guide the growth of the church. In later years, Lee volunteered his time and talents for many years to the Helping Hand Ministry. Lee was also active in several professional oil industry organizations in Tulsa and around the country.

Lee was a sailor to the core and had an adventurous spirit. He brought the love of the water to his family, building three boats in the garage. His outlet for his sailing was Grand Lake, where he and his family had a cabin for over 20 years. When the children were grown, he and Mizzie purchased a house in Port Ludlow, Washington, overlooking Puget Sound, where he sailed his beloved sloop, Trumpeter, in the San Juan Islands and throughout the Pacific, retracing his Coast Guard days to Hawaii and Alaska.

He loved life and wanted to experience as much of it as he could. He learned to pilot small aircraft, he para-sailed in Mexico, scuba-dived in the Caribbean, and skydived solo at age 88 over the fields of Oklahoma. He had a thirst for learning and read constantly. He kept himself healthy by jogging throughout his adult life. He was a true Renaissance man. H will be missed by all who knew him.

He is survived by his children, eight grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

Tulsa World, January 7, 2018