Major General Edwin Hays Wright

Published 3:05 pm Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Major General Edwin Hays Wright, Alabama Army National Guard, Retired, of Ozark passed away at home on Tuesday, August 12, 2014, at the age of 67, following an extended illness.

Funeral Services will be held at 2:00 P. M. Thursday, August 14, 2014, in the First United Methodist Church of Ozark with Reverend R. Michael Sigler, Reverend Meghan Kelley and Reverend Dr. Jason Thrower officiating. Burial with full Military Honors will be held at 3:30 P. M. Thursday in Green Hills Cemetery in Troy, AL, Holman Funeral Home of Ozark directing. Visitation will be held Thursday in the First United Methodist Church Family Life Center from 12:00 P. M. until service time.

Eddie, as he was known to friends, was born in Troy, Alabama, later moving to Brundidge, and then to Ozark, where he had resided for more than 40 years. In 1964, Eddie graduated from Pike County High School, subsequently earning both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Troy State University. Following college graduation, he was employed by Dale County Schools, where he served in numerous capacities, including classroom teacher, guidance counselor, football and baseball coach, school principal and assistant superintendent, ultimately retiring in 2006 as Superintendent of Education for Barbour County Schools.

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In addition to his career in education, Eddie Wright began military service in the Alabama National Guard in 1966. Following Officer Candidate School, he was commissioned an armor officer and was appointed to positions of steadily increasing responsibility throughout his very distinguished career. These leadership roles included Tactical Officer; Platoon Leader; Executive Officer; Deputy Adjutant General; Commander of the 31st Armored Brigade, the 31st Separate Armored Brigade, and the 62nd Troop Command; and Land Forces Component Commander, Joint Forces Headquarters in Montgomery, AL. He was promoted to BG in 1996 and to MG in 2000.

Among MG Wright’s highest military honors were his selection to attend the Army War College in Carlisle Barracks, PA, and his appointment to the CAPSTONE Program, which is designed to prepare general and flag officers for the highest levels of command. The prestigious CAPSTONE program includes visits to and briefings from the major headquarters of all services within the United States and the U.S. State Department, as well as meetings with top military and civilian leaders in Europe, Southeast Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

MG Wright’s military awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, and many others. He retired from the Alabama National Guard in November 2005, following nearly 40 years of service. On that occasion, MG C. Mark Bowen, Adjutant General of Alabama, stated: “Eddie Wright is probably one of the best soldiers I’ve ever known. His deliberate thinking process, attention to detail, soldier skills, and caring attitude are what set him apart from other senior officers.”

Despite demanding dual careers, Eddie found time to enjoy family beach retreats; coaching baseball; racquetball competitions (which he always won); Alabama football games (which he usually won) ; and dove hunting. He was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Ozark and Seekers Sunday School Class. He served as Chair of the Family Life Center Council, member of the Administrative Board, and in other church activities.

Edwin H. Wright was preceded in death by his parents, Edwin Talmadge Wright and Valoyce Hays Hester. He is survived by his wife of 37 years, Susan Jones Wright of Ozark; his daughter, Haley Wright Liddon (William); his son, Edwin Hays Wright, Jr.; his granddaughters, Anna and Caroline Liddon, the lights of their “Pop’s” life, all of Dothan; his sister, Brenda Gaumond (William) of Melbourne, FL; and a special canine companion, Krissy. Numerous nieces and nephews also survive.

The family would like to express a special thanks to Dr. Michael S. McAllister’s office and staff, and Community Hospice of Dale Medical Center.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in his memory to the First United Methodist Church of Ozark, 167 East Broad Street, Ozark, AL 36360; or to the charity of your choice.

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