JERRY J. WRIGHT 1932-2021 Friends, family, and the entire music world mourn the loss of long-time music-man Jerry J. Wright who passed away at Kaiser Hospital in Santa Rosa on May 2, 2021 with his family by his side. Jerry was born in Portland Oregon to parents Lou and Alice. Jerry’s father was a high school band director and instilled a love of music at an early age. Jerry learned how to play the trumpet at age 5 and continued to play until his death. Jerry won several awards in high school and college where he attended the University of Oregon with a music scholarship. During his first year of college Jerry learned he was soon to be drafted and elected to enlist in the United States Navy in 1951. Jerry was stationed in San Diego and was assigned to the band. During his tour of duty Jerry was involved in preparations for the Korean War. Jerry was discharged from the Navy in 1954 with a national distinguished service medal and a good conduct medal. Jerry continued with his education attending San Diego State from 1955 to 1957. In 1957 Jerry transferred to Humboldt State to finish his music degree and teaching credential. While in Humboldt State he met the love of his life, Dawn. Jerry graduated Humboldt State in 1960 and married Dawn the same year. They were married in Eureka California and began their 62-year journey in Kelseyville, California where Jerry was the music director for the entire Kelseyville district. Jerry and Dawn had their first two children, Greg in 1961, and Andrea in 1963. Jerry accepted a junior high teaching position at Kenilworth Junior high in Petaluma in 1963 where he taught for three years. He then accepted a position as music director at Rancho Cotate high school in 1968. Shortly after accepting his teaching position at Rancho Cotate their third child Noel was born. Jerry taught band, choir, and psychology while at Rancho Cotate where he also earned his master’s degree in music administration. During his professional music teaching career Jerry’s bands earned several awards and recognition to include numerous parade trophies and honors. Jerry’s bands traveled to several locations to include Canada, Disneyland and in 1976 his high school band was selected to represent the state of California at Jimmy Carter’s inaugural parade in Washington DC. Jerry’s professional musical achievements included 43 years of teaching, 82 years of trumpet playing, 55 years of dance drums, and 32 years with the Santa Rosa Symphony. After retirement Jerry and Dawn moved to Tracy California where Jerry conducted the Tracy community band for nine years. Jerry and Dawn moved back to Santa Rosa in 2011 were Jerry lived with Dawn until his death. Jerry’s hobbies included boating where he served as Commodore of the Petaluma yacht club from 1988 to 1992. Jerry was an avid football fan of San Francisco 49ers fan and the University of Oregon. He also was a fierce advocate of patriotism. Jerry was preceded in death by his sister Barbara Averill. Jerry is survived by his wife Dawn of 62 years, his three children Greg, Andrea, and Noel. His seven grandchildren, Stefanie, Melissa, Gregory, Zach, Ryan, Anastasia, and Alex. He also had one great grandchild, Hank. Viewing will be held at Eggen and Lance Chappell in Santa Rosa on May 18 between 10 and 11. Services begin at 11 with graveside services following. In lieu of flowers, donations will be accepted to establish the Jerry Wright Memorial Scholarship fund.
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