Bellefontaine Examiner

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Helen 'Joann' Fox Wright


Helen "Joann" Fox Wright, 89, died peacefully Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, at Green Hills Community, West Liberty.

She was born Aug. 24, 1924, in Mansfield.

After graduating from Akron West High School in Akron, she attended Ohio University, graduating in 1946. She was the first woman to be elected class president there. As a member of Pi Beta Phi Sorority, she held the office of Pledge Mistress.

During World War II, she supported the war effort by working on the landing gear of the Corsair F4U at Goodyear Aircraft. The Corsair flew off aircraft carriers in the Pacific, fighting against the Japanese Zero.

Joann married Lawrence “Larry” Eggleston Wright from Bainbridge in 1945. They moved in 1952 to Charleston, W.Va., where she was involved in many civic clubs and activities and modeled for Stone and Thomas Department Store.  

After moving to Tampa, Fla., in 1965, she used her degree in dietetics in the food industry. Upon retirement, at age 65, from Sexton Valenti Produce Co. where she was in restaurant sales, she moved to Delaware, Ohio, with her daughter, Kathy’s family. They moved to Bellefontaine in 1994 and she was active at the YMCA and The Red Hats.

Joann was an avid reader and loved crossword puzzles. Not to mention a good golfer in her younger years. Winters were often spent in Atlanta with her daughter Candice and in Sugarloaf, Fla., with good friends.

Part of many summers were spent at the family cottage on Pelee Island, Canada.

Her body was donated to Ohio University per her will and will be cremated at a later date. The children will scatter her ashes near Sugarloaf, Fla., according with her wishes. She had many fond memories there. A celebration of her life with be finalized at a later date.

Sympathies may be sent to her children at The Shires, 980 Township Road 135, Bellefontaine 43311.

Joann is survived by her two sisters, Marilyn Fox Petrie of Lillian, Ala., and Muncie, Ind., and Barbara Fox Garrett and her husband, Doyle of Avon Lake. Also by her children, Kathy Wright Shires and her husband, Bob Shires, residents of Bellefontaine, Dr. Lawrence E. Wright and his wife, Vicki Zambito Wright, residents of Wheeling, W.Va., and Candice Wright Tarr and her husband, Tommy Tarr, residents of Atlanta; seven grandchildren, Natalie Kinsel, Ashley Shires Knox, Courtney White, Matt Shires, Jennifer Wright, Lauren Wright and Jonathan Wright; and eight great-grandchildren.

The family would like to thank the Green Hills Community for the excellent care, pleasant environment and kindness shown to Joann. Anyone wishing to honor her memory may send a donation to Green Hills Community, 6557 S. U.S. State Route 68, West Liberty, OH 43357.

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