May 25, 1940 - December 31, 2017
Roy "Mike" Patrick Wright passed away the morning of December 31, 2017, New Year’s Eve. He was surrounded by friends and loved ones. He was 77 years old.
Roy was born May 25, 1940 in Anaconda, Montana to Roy Peter Wright and Mable Evelyn Walsh Wright. His elder sister, Dorothy "Arleen" was already one year and nine days older. At a young age the family moved to Portland, Oregon. During World War II, his mother, Mable, was employed at the Kaiser Shipyards along the Willamette River helping with the war effort. His father, Roy Sr., was a driver for Radio Cab Company in Portland until he retired.
Roy attended All Saints and St. Stevens grade schools and Central Catholic High School. In 1957, he enlisted in the United States Army. He was stationed at Air Force Bases in South Dakota and Maine. He returned to Portland after the Service and in 1962 married the girl next door, Jean Marie Plotts (Work). Together they had five children, Roy Patrick, Mary Lee, Deborah Marie, Catherine Lorraine, and Michael Remy. They remained married until the late 1970s.
After military service, Roy was employed by Standard Oil and the Jackson County Assessor's Office. He returned to college to study business and economics at Southern Oregon University. In 1978, he started his own real estate appraisal business, Roy Wright Appraisal Service. A business he would continue until his death. He was active in local politics and was a member of Rotary International for almost 40 years. He taught real estate appraisal courses across the country for more than 30 years.
In his 50s, Roy was reunited with his love for dancing. He started with tap dancing, dabbled in swing, salsa, and even ballet. Finally, settling on tango as his true love. He danced for a number of years in the Rogue Valley's Holiday production of the Nutcracker Ballet. In 2000, the year he turned 60, he immersed himself in tango. He put his real estate appraisal business on hold and moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina for three months. In Buenos Aires, he trained with the world's best tango masters. He returned to the Rogue Valley and would teach thousands of tango students over the next 17 years, locally, nationally, and in Mexico. He and another tango teacher, Clay Nelson, started Ashland's own tango festival, Turkey Tango. Roy has done guest appearances at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival Green Show featuring tango dancers from around the World.
Roy is survived by his children, Mary Lee Wright (John Runyon) of Portland, Catherine Lorraine Wright (Anthony Uribe) of Grants Pass, and Michael Remy Wright (Debbie Kosmatka Wright) of Medford; his sister, Dorothy "Arleen" Curths (Ron Curths) of Powell Butte, Oregon; and his nephew, Randy Curths. Roy has 10 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his son, Roy Patrick Wright; his daughter, Deborah Marie Wright; nephews, Ronald Michael Curths and Jason Lee Plotts; and his parents, Roy Peter Wright and Mable Evelyn Walsh Wright.
There will be a military service for Roy at Eagle Point National Cemetery in Eagle Point, Oregon at 9 a.m. Friday, January 12, 2018. A Celebration of Life and reception will be held at 2:00 p.m that afternoon at The Inn at the Commons, 200 N. Riverside Ave., Medford.