Wright, a retired Army master sergeant and a veteran of the Korean War, joined the U.S. Air Force in 1951 after graduating from Wiesbaden High School in Germany. He graduated from Berea College in Kentucky in 1961 earned his master’s degree from Indiana University in 1968.
Wright began teaching science, social studies and some business in 1961 and continued in that profession with the Indiana Department of Education until 1996. He worked as an environmental education consultant and designed in-service workshops for K-12 educators.
An adventurous spirit led him to Missoula, Mont., where he worked summers for the U.S. Forest Service when school was out. He was a smoke jumper for five years and became one of the squad’s leaders.
Wright is a Sagamore of the Wabash, the highest honor that an Indiana governor can bestow upon an individual, and a Kentucky Colonel, the Bluegrass state’s version of the award.