Lawrence Wayne Wright, father, brother, and dear friend passed away
unexpectedly on August 26, 2023 in Amarillo, TX. He was 64 years old.
He was born to Joe and Cana Wright on March 6, 1959; the second of four sons. As a child, Lawrence spent many days “rescuing” baby pigeons from church steeples around the neighborhoods. He loved being up high. He saved money to buy his first hang glider, by working at Sears after school. After graduating from Tascosa High School in 1977, Lawrence began a career in iron working, which led to the opportunity to become a rigger; eventually becoming a crane operator where he had the good fortune to remain until his retirement.
As a young man, he began working with his older brother, Kevin, who inspired Lawrence to move to California. His work afforded him the ability to see many different states throughout his life; he always looked forward to returning home to his beloved California, where he enjoyed the spectacular views of
Lawrence was an innovator. In the spring of 1978 at the age of 19, Lawrence designed and built a hang glider from scratch, which he flew several times off of a small hill, and one adrenaline-pinching flight, off a 175 foot cliff. He eventually shelved the project, saying the glider flew too fast to handle safely. Lawrence plied his hang-gliding craft from the “ant” hills of Amarillo’s medi-park, to the larger hills of Alibates Flint Quarries, and eventually to mountains the likes of Torrey Pines, Yosemite, Owens Valley, Lakeview, Fort Funston, and their home site at Lake McClure. Flying was so much more than a sport to him; it introduced him to a whole new family of flying brothers and sisters who became his lifelong second family. His passionate love of flying and adventure spanned many years and many states creating a rich tapestry of treasured memories.
Lawrence also deeply loved music and playing the guitar but was known to give his very own guitar away to a promising young guitar-less musician if needed. He will be remembered for his love of family, bottomless generosity, inventive sense of humor and stellar barbecuing skills. Lawrence was known for his smoked rib eye. Some would rave that it was the best; his surviving brothers giving the highest praise of all, “mighty fine!”
He is survived by his brothers Kevin and wife Aimee, Kevin’s daughters Lindsay and husband Matt Lewis, and Sierra Illiohan Wright; James, his son Joseph and Joseph’s wife Angela, as well as James’ granddaughter’s Audri and Mia, Glenn and wife Amy, Emily Maritz and husband Emile and daughter Mila, and Sawyer and Slaton Wright,as well as his sons Anthony and Chris Hatton, whom he adored. He was preceded in death by his parents, mother Cana Jo and his father Joe, and many others. He is survived by an enormous family of aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews and in-laws, as well as his hang gliding family, who will miss him dearly.
A celebration of Lawrence’s life is being planned for spring, 2024, in California.
The family would love for you to share your fond memories of Lawrence on his memorial page.