Obituary of Elizabeth Hope White Wright
On Wednesday, April 3, 2019, Elizabeth Hope White Wright, 91, passed away at home surrounded by family and those who loved and cared for her.
Elizabeth was a woman of substance. She was an early champion of women’s rights; she was a conversational provocateur who loved a stimulating discussion, especially when playing the devil’s advocate. She was a skilled bridge player and lifelong lover of words and doer of crossword puzzles. She was an avid reader—,particularly of historical fiction. Elizabeth favored quality over quantity and didn’t mind bending a rule or two. She was equally strong-willed and generous of spirit and heart.
Elizabeth—known to all as Ebi—was born in Clarksburg on June 25, 1927, to Virginia Hope Rogers White and Goodridge English White. She and her four siblings grew up in Webster Springs. She attended Webster Springs High School and graduated from West Virginia University with a major in history. She was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma where she made lifelong friends and remained an active supporter.
In 1949, she married Fred Earle Wright, from Spencer, who became a professor in the WVU School of Business and Economics. From then on she was devoted to her greatest passion: raising her family. She loved to host casual dinners and always had room and food for one more—a friend or student and sometimes a stranger—at the dinner table. Ebi found the campus atmosphere intellectually stimulating and was an active participant in the WVU community. She had a deep interest in ideas and people and never met a stranger.
Over their 60 years of marriage, Ebi and Fred were big fans and supporters of WVU basketball (her favorite) and football. The family most enjoyed summer visits to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Ebi loved the beach and the ocean, the smells and sounds that came with it—as well as the shells and seafood that came out of it. More adventurously in later years, the couple made trips to Europe, Alaska, and Africa and also visited a wide array of U.S. National Parks. For their 50th anniversary, eager to share places they loved, they took their children and grandchildren to several of their favorite National Parks out West.
Ebi was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Morgantown and the Morgantown Service League which oversees the care of the Old Stone House, circa 1796.
Ebi is survived by her three children: Alice Wright Pettway of Atlanta; John Goodridge Wright of Morgantown; and William Thomas Wright (Joyce) of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She will be dearly missed by her grandchildren: John Cooper Pettway of Washington, D.C.; Andrew Thomas Pettway of Atlanta; Thomas Benton Wright and Evan Goodridge Wright of Lancaster. Her brother, Goodridge English White of Webster Springs, also survives her. Elizabeth was predeceased by her husband, and by her three older sisters: Ellen Ann White Cooney, Betty Lee White Heatherman, and Jean Rodgers White Hammick.
The family would like to thank Debra Bertalan for her devoted loving care of Ebi and Kay Kelly, NP, for her decades of love and friendship to the Wright family.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 27, at The Village at Heritage Point, in Morgantown. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences at WVU: WVU Foundation, P.O. Box 1650, Morgantown, WV 26507-1650 or eberly.wvu.edu/give.
Hastings Funeral Home has been entrusted with arrangements and online condolences may be made at www.hastingsfuneralhome.com