Captain Ross W. Wright, 83, long-time resident of Wakefield, passed away on August 28, 2009 after a long battle with cancer. He was the beloved husband of Anne Renzi Wright, and father of Cathy Wright Blaney and Julie Wright Henderson. He was the son of Herbert and Melvina Buchanan Wright of Kenton, Tennessee.

Capt. Wright was born March 9, 1926 in the Missouri Ozarks and grew up on a family farm in Obion County, West Tennessee. After the end of his freshman year at the University of Tennessee - Martin, Capt. Wright began his career at sea in the U.S. Merchant Marine during World War II as an able-bodied seaman assigned to Liberty ships delivering supplies to our armed forces and allies in Europe. After the war, he served with the Mystic Steamship Company on board the SS Winding Gulf as chief mate until the Korean War. After 10 years, Capt. Wright left Delta Lines and entered the U.S. Navy as a Lieutenant Junior Grade in 1951. His Navy career included tours as Commanding Officer of three ships - the LST DeKalb County, the DER Vance, and the DD Charles S. Sperry, and tours of duty in the Pentagon as Assistant Amphibious Warfare Officer in the office of the Chief of Naval Operations and in the Office of the Chief of Naval Personnel. He was promoted to Commander in 1965. His last tour of duty in the Navy was as Head of Enlisted Education programs for the Director of Naval Education and Training. Captain Wright was decorated with numerous service medals, including Merchant Marine WWII Victory Medal; Merchant Marine War Zone Bars (Atlantic; Mediterranean-Middle East, and Pacific War Zones); Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal Device; Vietnam Service Medal (bronze star); and National Defense Service Medal (bronze star). He also received Presidential citations from Presidents Truman, Kennedy and Nixon.

After retiring from the U.S. Navy as Commander, he served as Master of the inshore cruise ships M/V AMERICAN EAGLE and M/V INDEPENDENCE. He also became a freelance writer and is the author of several published articles concerning the sea and seamen.

As a Navy Commander, he sat for his Masters license in 1980, and subsequently joined the Massachusetts Maritime Academy in February 1980 as Associate Professor. He taught Seamanship, Nautical Astronomy and Celestial Navigation. He assumed the position of Vice President of Student Services and Maritime Training, and Master, T/V BAY STATE, in August 1981. He retired in 1991 as a tenured professor.

After retiring, he pursued his passions: golf, writing, and "poetry that rhymes." As a member of the Exeter Country Club, he was club senior champion for 5 years and two-ball champion for two years. He published a maritime adventure novel entitled "The Café: A Place of Good Repute," loosely based on his merchant marine experiences. He became a dedicated member of the Wakefield Rotary Club later in life, an association he thoroughly enjoyed.

Captain Wright is survived by his wife, Anne Renzi Wright, daughters Julie Wright Henderson and Cathy Wright Blaney, sons-in-law John O. Henderson and Christian R. Blaney, grand-daughters Anna and Sabrina Blaney, sisters Dorothy (Wright) Doran and Lorene (Wright) May of Tennessee, and numerous nieces and nephews.

His visiting hours were held Monday and burial with Military Honors was held Tuesday at RI Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Exeter, RI. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to

Home and Hospice Care of Rhode Island
1085 North Main St
Providence, RI 02904
or the
Wakefield Rotary Club
P.O. Box 382
Wakefield, RI 02880.