Gretchen Barbara Wright

Published 9:52 am Monday, November 29, 2021

On Nov. 23, Gretchen Wright joined her husband in the light of the Eternal Gardens, after a life filled with adventure. A native of Clifton, Wisconsin, she was the oldest daughter of Donald and Barbara Monick, born on April 27, 1936. Her formative years were spent on her parents’ dairy farm, “The Sunnyside of Clifton,” where her love of all things green began. Known to be somewhat of a tomboy in her youth, Gretchen was equally adept at driving a Farmall tractor, swinging a bat in a pickup baseball game, playing trombone in marching band, or catching fish in the nearest creek. A 1954 graduate of Tomah High School, she attended the Rochester School of Nursing, graduating as a Registered Nurse, which was the start of a long career in various nursing avocations. On April 5, 1958, she was united in marriage to a wayward Texan named Tom Wright, and that was the start of a long and loving relationship.


Gracious, vivacious and gregarious, friends and neighbors were always welcome at the Wright home, where Gretchen’s culinary skills were enjoyed by all. Her vegetable and flower gardens flourished under her care, lush and filled with beautiful blooms and an abundance of food for the table, and she was recognized as a “Master Gardener” by the state of Mississippi. She was known for her blue-ribbon flower arrangements and was a long-standing member of the Vicksburg Garden Club. Always welcome at the bridge or pinochle table, Gretchen enjoyed a friendly game of cards. In addition to her considerable skills as a homemaker, she was adept in the art of rosemaling, her colorful floral patterns turning ordinary breadboards and platters into works of art.

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A world traveler, she enjoyed accompanying her husband on business trips, traveling to London, Guam, Saipan, and Hong Kong, to name just a few. The nomadic lifestyle continued for several more years after her husband’s retirement, traveling across the country in a 38-foot travel trailer, visiting friends and relatives, fishing with their grandsons, exploring, and taking memorable trips to diverse locations such as Copper Canyon, Mexico, before finally settling down in North Carolina to be closer to their children and grandchildren.


Gretchen was preceded in death by her parents Donald and Barbara, and her husband of 62 years, Tom. She is survived by her sister Nancy (Don) Fairbanks of Cincinnati, Ohio; two children, Thomas Wright of Hubbell, Mich., and Sherri (Ward) Jarvis of Hillsborough, N.C.; two grandsons, Kevin (Leah) Jarvis of Swepsonville, N. C., and Scott (Emily) Jarvis of Raleigh, N.C., her great-granddaughter, Palmer Lorraine Jarvis; and her special niece and nephews.


The family wishes to thank the hospice staff of the Hock Family Pavilion, to whom we will be forever grateful to for their wonderful and compassionate care of our mother, and where she was able to spend her last days in beautiful, peaceful surroundings. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations in her memory be made to the Hock Family Pavilion, 4023 North Roxboro Road, Durham, North Carolina, 27704.