Lawrence Wayne Wright


Lawrence Wayne Wright, father, brother, and dear friend passed away

Lawrence Wayne Wright
Lawrence Wayne Wright

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 Wayne Wright
Lawrence Wayne Wright


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.


3 Replies to “Lawrence Wayne Wright”

  1. I first met Lawrence (and Kevin) in the spring of 1976. We were all flying hang gliders at Alibates. I saw somebody(Lawrence)flying a cliff that nobody else had flown and he was staying up(soaring) !! I had never seen anybody fly a glider like he was that day!!! It was amazing. I met the Wright brothers the following week and we started flying together every chance we could get. We would meet at their house on Sat or Sun mornings. They would offer breakfast to whoever would show up and we would go flying. We 3 shared a house in 1978 and became close friends. They even got me a job at the Owens Corning Fiberglass plant when it was under construction! I bought a couple of gliders from them and we went on many, many flying adventures together over the next 3 or 4 years before everybody kind of went their separate ways. They went to California to chase thermals and work and I went to Houston to be an Air Traffic Controller. That’s when we regretfully lost touch. Lawrence was one of a kind. He had a great sense of humor, was a great friend and the best pilot I ever had the pleasure of flying with. You’ll be greatly missed. Fly high my friend.

  2. So thankful that I had the honor of knowing Lawrence. . He guided me to be an Iron Worker 39 years ago when I was 18. We would sit around, drink cold beer and he would educate me with his knowledge. Even though we lost touch through the years, he will always be someone I look up to and remember.

  3. Lawrence was a great man and a good friend. I’ve missed him since he left for California. Now I’ll miss him for the rest of my days. You can fly high now like never before.

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