Steven Greg Wright, a resident of Elk Grove for 44 years who suffered from multiple sclerosis for the past 25 years, lost his battle with the disease and died Aug. 19, 2008 at the age of 50.
Before MS completely incapacitated him, Elk Grove residents knew him as a community booster: active with the Elk Grove Lions Club, volunteer fireman, EMT, member of DART, Elk Grove Historical Society, El Dorado Rescue Team and the Elk Grove chapter of the MS Society.
He was also a ham operator, member of the NRA, and for relaxation, loved to go to the movies.
He was born in Los Angeles County June 19, 1958 and grew up in Elk Grove, attending Elk Grove Elementary, Joseph Kerr Middle and Elk Grove High schools, graduating from the latter in 1976.
He then worked for Citizens Utilities Company for 12 ½ years until illness forced him to retire.
Mr. Wright participated in Lions Club activities, especially sight conservation, for many years, and for his efforts received the Fred O. Summer Fellow, the Gordon Daniels award, and the highest award Lions can bestow: the Melvin Jones Fellow. The Elk Grove club made him a lifetime member.
He also worked with the Healthy Start program at the Elk Grove Unified School District, and was awarded a Sight First plaque.
“Steve helped me so much with the Chamber of Commerce, especially when I was president,” said his mother Elaine Wright, also a community-involved person. “And he was very much involved with Elk Grove’s second try at incorporation.”
For several years he was able to live by himself in an apartment with much help from his parents and friends. One friend, Dr. Arnold Lewis who used to help with feeding him dinners, said: “Steve inspired all of us by bravely accepting his handicap, and I look forward to renewing our cherished friendship, when we both can speak and hear more clearly while swapping those horrible jokes.”
His sister said, “Steve had a smile that could light up a room and a spirit that drew you to him. He loved his family and his country, and loved being a part of the Elk Grove community.”
Mr. Wright is survived by his parents, Jim and Elaine Wright of Elk Grove; sisters Marlene Flores and husband Mario also of Elk Grove, and Marilyn Wright and husband Gary Johnson of Arden Park; niece Amanda Rafidiarimanda and husband Didier of Paris, France; and nephews Darren McAuliffe of Grants Pass, Ore. and Max Johnson of Arden Park.
He was the nephew of Robert Graham and wife Lyallyn of Aurora, Ore., and cousin of Jeremy and Ian Graham of Aurora.
There is a viewing today (Friday) from 4 to 8 p.m. at East Lawn Elk Grove Mortuary, 9189 East Stockton Blvd. Services will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 23 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 8697 Elk Grove Blvd.
Remembrances may be made to the Rhoads School, c/o Elk Grove Historical Society, P.O. Box 562, Elk Grove, CA 95759; or to the Multiple Sclerosis Society. A Web site, created by Mr. Wright’s niece Amanda, has been created under The Steven Wright Memorial Research Fund, where donors may also sign in on the guest book.