Bob was born in Hastings, Michigan, to Leslie and Elsie Steinke Wright. Upon graduation from Jackson High School in 1945, he served two years in the US Army of Occupation in Kyoto, Japan. He attended Jackson Community College and graduated from Western Michigan University. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church.
His career, in teaching and coaching, began at Lee High School, where he worked for eight years. He taught history and mathematics. In 1960, he took his basketball team to the state finals. That fall he returned to Jackson High School. During his 29 year tenure there, he won many district and regional titles in baseball and basketball. In addition, he held positions as athletic director and assistant principal.
Upon retirement from Jackson Public Schools, he formed a Wendy's summer baseball team and enlisted his grandson, Adam Swope, as batboy. For two seasons, he coached the Lumen Christi High School baseball team. His final baseball team, the Jackson JAX, was a summer team with high school players from three counties; and it included his grandson.
In recognition of his coaching achievements, he was inducted into the Michigan High School Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame. He was the 2006 recipient of the Jackson Citizen Patriot Al Cotton Award.
He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Frances, daughter Kristen(Troy)Swope, son David, granddaughter Kaelyn Wright, grandsons Adam Swope and Gage Wright, cousin Janice Stetler and lifelong friends, Roland J. Shelby of Jackson and Gayle Hinkle of Sun City West, Arizona.
The family has held a private graveside service. Donations honoring Bob's life may be made to the First Presbyterian Church, 743 W. Michigan Avenue Jackson, MI 49201 or to the Jackson High School Athletic Fund, 544 Wildwood Ave., Jackson, MI 49201.
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First Presbyterian Church
743 W. Michigan Avenue, Jackson MI 49201
Jackson High School Athletic Fund
544 Wildwood Ave., Jackson MI 49201