Vera Kathleen Griffith Wright, the first resident of the Colonnade Life Care Community in Surprise, Arizona died of natural causes at the age of 94 on June 22, 2020. Vera was born in Vermilion County Illinois on July 11, 1925 to Ethel Marie and Arthur C. Griffith. She had two younger siblings, John P. Griffith and Marjorie J. Cyr that both preceded her in death. Growing up during the depression was an exceptional hardship because her father abandoned the family when she was five years old and they were forced to live in a deserted box car. Vera attended Sidell High School where she was a cheerleader and thespian. After graduation in 1944, she briefly worked in Classified Advertising for The News Gazette in Champaign, Illinois before marrying Ernest Vern Wright on November 13, 1946.
The couple spent the next 58 years together farming in Central Illinois while raising two daughters and then enjoying retirement in Branson, Missouri and Salome, Arizona until Ernie’s death in 2004. Vera followed Ernie as his business partner into the fields to produce corn and soybeans. She also followed her husband into the air because he was an avid aviator; into an RV to travel the country; onto a dance floor as demonstration dancers for Arthur Murray; and into a boat because the lake life was their favorite.
Vera had an artistic flair (calligraphy, oil painting), was an excellent seamstress and loved to “clown” around. She had a contagious smile, quick wit, flirtatious personality and enjoyed entertaining people by marching in parades and making animal balloons in her Raggedy Ann costume. Her love for cats was only exceeded by her love for caramels and tacos. Vera was a devout Christian and obtained an Able Minister’s Certificate from Gospel Crusade Incorporated in 1985.
Vera is survived by two children, Cynthia Diane Smith and Nancy Jo Combes(Craig); two grandchildren, Westley Aaron Morehead(Brooke) and Dawn Marie Landes(Creighton); two great granddaughters, Harper Elizabeth Morehead and Callan Landes Irons.
Vera is a name derived from a Russian origin meaning “Truth & Faith”. She was quick to demonstrate her version of both in her life. Rest in Peace O’ Good and Faithful Servant-you brought color to our world and we love and miss you!
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