Services Feb 20 for Community Leader Dale Wright

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Dale Lawrence Wright 1924-2015

Dale Wright passed away on Christmas Day 2015 in Kirkland, WA after a brief illness. He is deeply mourned by his family and many friends who will miss his intelligence, humor, strong values and commitment to service and community.

Dale was born on August 10, 1924 in Sioux City, Iowa to Dale and Cecilia (Tholl) Wright. He excelled in sports in school, playing basketball and participating in track and field. In 1943, he joined the army as part of the Army Specialized Training Program and served in Europe in the 8th Armored Division.

While he was in the Army, his parents moved to Seattle for work and health reasons. Dale followed in 1945 after the war, but a part of him was always a Sioux City boy. He spoke fondly about his extended family back in Iowa and how much he enjoyed his life there.

Once in Seattle, Dale attended the University of Washington under the GI Bill, obtaining a degree in Accounting and Industrial Management in 1949. He went on to build a successful career, working for almost 40 years for various manufacturing and service companies.

While at the University, Dale met his future wife Virginia (Ginny) Schurman and they were married in 1949. Dale and Ginny enjoyed 61 years of marriage, living mostly in Shoreline, and had four children, Pam, Jody, Greg and Brian, and later on were delighted to have three grandchildren, Corey, Michael and Christopher. Dale always made time for family, taking annual camping trips all over the West and devoting evening and weekends to family activities.

In 1988, Dale enthusiastically embraced retirement by reading books, cultivating a beautiful lawn, refinishing furniture and playing tennis. He and Ginny traveled extensively in the United States for a couple of years, and traveled to Europe.

In 1999, Dale became heavily involved in the newly incorporated city of Shoreline, and was instrumental in the development of Shoreline’s Aurora Corridor Project, designed to improve Highway 99 for better livability, commerce, and safety. In the highly politicized atmosphere of the time, Dale felt that the voices of citizens were not being heard and created the Aurora Citizens' Advisory Task Force, Vision Aurora, to give voice to those citizens.

He served on the Echo Lake Elementary Site Council. After representing the group on the Echo Lake Traffic Improvement Committee, he held a two year term as co-chair of the Echo Lake Neighborhood Association and represented that organization at the Council of Neighborhoods for several years more.

He was a founder of Pro Shoreline, a booster organization that helped identify candidates for public office. He worked closely with Shoreline councilmembers, who valued his intelligence, public service, and commitment to Shoreline.

He enjoyed assuming leadership, grew to savor politics, admired and befriended many people and was named as a Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary International. His involvement in Shoreline leadership, politics and community was a high point in his life and his family is all very proud of him for it.

Dale’s influence extended to people of all ages. He was generous with his time and enjoyed long discussions on all sorts of topics as he loved to explore and learn. He was a good friend and mentor, was grounded in experience and common sense, and shared freely, with humility and humor, his wisdom and advice.

Dale is survived by his children Pam Wright, Joanne Wright and Greg Wright (Vonnie) and is preceded in death by his son Brian, his wife Virginia, and his sisters Betty Sorensen and Mary Ann Law.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a charity of your choice.

Dale’s Celebration of Life will be at 1pm on Saturday, February 20, 2016 at Shoreline Unitarian Universalist Church, 14724 First Ave. NE, Shoreline WA, 98155.


Anonymous,  February 21, 2016 at 1:08 AM  

I met Dale around the time that the city formed, for we were in the same neighborhood association and even lived on the same street. Our friendship blossomed with the debate and challenges over the Aurora Corridor project. Unlike me, I don't think he missed a City Council meeting, always giving a prepared comment not just as to the merits of the proposal, but rebutting statements and writings of the opponents of the project; Shoreline had a traditional newspaper back then. In-between council meetings, Dale would research questions that were raised during the meetings, following up in subsequent meetings what he found, things like what the experience with medians were in other parts of the country. In addition to all this was all of the other meetings mentioned above, many of which he created! This was from a person who was then in his 70s! Very impressive, yet he always was affable, even-tempered, and with applicable stories at the ready. Perhaps a couple of years ago, he knew it was time to sell his home, which he quietly did, moving to a retirement community to the northeast. Thanks to our SAN editor for this coverage, we know that Dale is in a better place, no doubt getting things in order where they weren't so much before.

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