John Willard Wright of Royal Oaks, Calif., and formerly of Mendon, passed away at age 75 on Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012, at his home.
John was raised in Mendon and joined the Army in 1955. He and his family moved to Salinas, Calif., in 1962. He worked as a carpenter throughout his adult life and in 1974 started his own construction business. He was truly a master builder, and his projects prove that carpentry was not just his career but also his hobby and passion. He retired in 2005.
He was a former member of the Salinas Host Lions Club and a current member of E Clampus Vitus, the Elks Club, and the American Legion in Prunedale. He served on the Board of the Salinas Valley Builders Exchange from 1975-87 and was president from 1978-79.
John loved people and was never happier than when he had an audience for his larger-than-life stories. He was a gifted and captivating speaker, storyteller and comedian. He and his wife, Janet, wrote his autobiography and the cover quote states: “Why do I do the things I do? Because I can!” John lived this motto through every moment. He often said that once you die, your history dies with you, so he encouraged everyone to document their own stories to carry on for future generations.
We deeply mourn the loss of a mesmerizing and one-of-a-kind father, brother, husband, grandfather, teacher and patriarch. His unforgettable legacy is eternal.
He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Janet; his daughter, Deborah; his sons, John Jr. (Linda) and Mark (Lisa); his grandchildren, Jessica, Brittany, Thomas, Jenna, Jensen and Haley; a great-granddaughter, Chloe; his brother Clair (Inge) of Salinas; sister Janyce (Victor) Myers of Granger, Ind.; brother Ken (Mary) Wright of Three Rivers; sister Beverly Tulloch of Kalamazoo; and brother Wayne Wright of Mendon.
A Clampers-style Memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Wright Ranch.
Donations may be made in his name to any of the service clubs to which John belonged or the American Cancer Society of Monterey County.
Funeral arrangements are by Struve and Laporte Funeral Home of Salinas.