Allan (Whitey) Wright of House Wright and Coleman, First of his Name, Tormentor of the Seven (children) and Protector of the Fifteen (grandchildren), Master of Snakebites, Zealot of Golf, Cracker of Bullwhips, Mentor of Hockey, Champion of Rook, Binder of Socks, Obsessor of Sports and Counter of Ribs died on June 28, 2021.
As his name implies, Whitey Wright was legendary, especially to children. If you were a child (or the parent of a child) and crossed paths with Whitey, you likely remember simultaneously feeling deathly terrified, electrifyingly excited and unconditionally loved. You knew a maelstrom was about to unfold whenever Whitey entered a room, even if it were only for one of his notoriously brief cameo appearances. You also knew at least some collateral damage would be left in his wake. He was usually the quietest in the room but caused the most raucous. He wound up the kids in a whirlwind of chaos and then quietly snuck out before anyone knew what hit.
Whitey's many years of coaching hockey were memorable to his athletes, who talk about him affectionately decades later. Known for a quick and sometimes fiery temper, his locker room pep talks could be colorful and unconventional, but almost always delivered the desired results. He had a way of being stern with his players in a way that lifted them up, motivated them and brought out their best. If you were a student in his Sunday School classes, you might remember being held upside down over the garbage pail if you misbehaved. It wasn't coincidence that the rowdiest kids always seemed to end up in Whitey's class. He was the only teacher that could keep them in line, all while somehow magically making going to Sunday School class enjoyable. The wilder you were the more he loved you and usually, the more you loved him.
Whitey was born in Cardston, Alberta to Leatha (Coleman) and Robert Wright on May 10, 1944. Initially christened Allan, his snow-white hair led to his childhood nickname of 'Whitey'. While his golden locks darkened over the years, the name stuck, so much so that to this day, few knew his actual first name. Whitey was raised in Beazer and Cardston, AB with his four siblings Robert, Gary, Arvella and Reva. They grew up in a tiny one-bedroom home.
Whitey married the love of his life, Brenda Forsyth in 1971. They were blessed with 7 children: Kristi (Ryan), Ryan (Allan), Ronna (Michael), Darren (Jerilyn), Regan (Luis), Dustin (Oxana) and Karlee (Kyle). Whitey's pride and greatest source of joy were his fifteen grandchildren. In his last months, his toddler granddaughter Halli would climb into his lap and quietly sit with him, sometimes for hours. As he struggled to breath at times with the progression of his illness, his greatest consolation was his grandchildren.
In his final weeks, Whitey was often seen tearing through Raymond streets on his new e-Bike, oxygen tank strapped to his back, helmet-be-damned and at full-throttle, "bangs-up" speeds leaving a cloud of dust in his path. Whitey passed away on Monday, after attending his last "Council of the Elders" at the local Subway shop. It was here the Elders would deliberate the "going-ons" of the day and commensurate over their respective ailments. He took one final spin on his beloved e-Bike before returning home. He left the world as he lived his life, unpredictably and on his own terms. His family and friends will forever miss him and are grateful his timing has allowed them to gather together to celebrate the amazing life he lived.
Funeral Services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, July 5th at the Taylor Street Chapel in Raymond, AB. Whitey's family will visit with friends and family at a viewing in the same chapel on Sunday, July 4th at 7:00 to 8:00 pm and again on Monday at 10:00 to 10:45 a.m. The burial will be following funeral services in the Cardston Cemetery.
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