Charles Raymond Wright

Born in Paducah, KY on May 13, 1941

Departed on November 7, 2018 and resided in Hendersonville, TN

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 After struggling with illness for nearly two years, Charles Wright died peacefully while surrounded by his family on November 7, 2018, at the age of 77.  He was born Charles Raymond Wright on May 13, 1941 in Paducah, KY.  While growing up, Charles enjoyed playing both basketball and baseball, and according to his younger brother Jim, had the “meanest knuckle ball around”.  So much so, he pitched for his high school team in the Pony League World Series in Pittsburg, PA in 1957.  He continued to play basketball throughout his life on various adult leagues, and also enjoyed racquetball and golf.

After graduating from high school, Charles started working in the factory of General Tire & Rubber Co. in Mayfield, KY.  Little did he know that “summer job” would turn into a nearly 50-year long successful career in the tire industry.  Charles graduated from Murray State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Management in 1969.   Upon completing his degree, he started working for Gates Rubber & Tire Co. in Nashville, TN, where he was promoted to Personnel Manager.  From there, he quickly rose through the ranks via a succession of promotions to General Manager with Armstrong Rubber Co. in Des Moines, IA, Natchez, MS, and back to Nashville, shortly after which the company became Pirelli Armstrong.  In 1993, he was hired as President & CEO of Denman Tire & Rubber Co. of Leavittsburg, OH, where he commuted for 13 years, eventually retiring in 2009.  Due to his vast leadership experience, Charles became well known for his exceptional negotiation skills and ability to save failing companies, which saved many jobs.  He demanded hard work and dedication from those around him, but never more than from himself.  This perceived toughness was easily surpassed by his generous, fair and respectful treatment of all.   During his tenure at Denman, he was ultimately recognized for his dedication to improving the company, by being selected as Rubber Industry Executive of the Year in 1998 by Rubber & Plastics News.

Mayfield, KY was not only the starting place for his life-long career, it was also where Charles met his life-long love and wife, Jackie Hunn.  Soon after they met, Charles went to Fort Dix with the National Guard, and continued to serve in the reserves through the early years of their marriage.  Mayfield was also where they married and had their first child, John Thomas.  Later, after their move to Nashville, they were blessed with the birth of their daughter, Jennifer Rae.

Although he enjoyed his career and the relationships he formed throughout the years at work, Charles was first and foremost a family man.  His “tough-guy” attitude at work quickly melted away at home, as his free time was spent coaching little league teams, attending dance recitals, working in the yard, flipping burgers on the grill, making his famous homemade milkshakes,  loading up his family for drive-in movies, and playing games around the kitchen table.  He was also known for providing ample lap-time for the beloved family dog, and later for his adored grand-dogs and grand-cat.  Simply put his greatest pride, joy and love always was his family.

His family and friends would describe Charles as one of the smartest guys they’ve ever known.  He was the kind of man who knew “almost everything about anything”.  Charles became a mentor to many throughout his life… friends, family, neighbors, or anyone who ever needed a helping hand or advice.  He was wise, kind, and generous beyond measure.  And it wasn’t just adults who sought him out… after his retirement, “Mr. Charlie” was often asked to “please come outside and play” by the neighborhood children. Obviously his friendships were not limited by age.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Verlie Ray and Wanetta Gish Wright, siblings, Dorothy Cripps of Owensboro, KY, Barbara Burrows and Donald Wright of Paducah, KY, and his infant son, Charles David (twin of John).

He is survived by wife Jacqueline Hunn Wright and son John Wright of Hendersonville, TN, daughter Jennie (Grant) Davidson of Nashville, TN, brother James (Gale) Wright of Chattanooga, TN, sister-in-law Barbara Terrell of Harrisburg, AR, many cousins, nephews, nieces, great-nephews/nieces, and great-great nephews/nieces, and his beloved grand-dogs and grand-cats.

Jackie and Charlie were blessed to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary on October 11, 2018.

In honoring his wishes, there will be no service.  For those who would like to remember Charles, donations may be made to his charities of choice below.

Proverbs12:10 Animal Rescue:

https://www.proverbs1210rescue.org/info/donate

Nashville Rescue Mission:

https://www.nashvillerescuemission.org/donate/donate-now/

 

 

 

 

 

16 Comments to Charles Raymond Wright

  1. Tom williams
    November 13, 2018 7:50 pm

    I enjoyed working with and for Charlie at Pirelli and Denman…Iam sorry….he was a very good person……Tom Williams.

    • Jackie Wright
      November 14, 2018 5:38 pm

      Thank you so much. He thought a lot of you and your work ethic and talents. He always knew that it was because of you and so many others that he achieved the success that he did.

  2. ched Yearout
    November 13, 2018 11:05 pm

    Ch I worked for Charlie at Pirelli as part of his team.. A gifted manager and a fine man

    • Jackie Wright
      November 14, 2018 5:43 pm

      He always thought you were so smart and excellent in your work, someone he could count on. Thank you for being there for him until the end and this includes Janice as well.

  3. Stan Johnson
    November 14, 2018 9:48 am

    I worked with Charlie as both an employee and union representative in Nashville and from afar while he was at Denman. Charlie was always fair and open minded. He will be missed.

    • Jackie Wright
      November 14, 2018 5:49 pm

      He spoke so often of how much he admired you. Your recent card and all those who
      signed it meant so much to him, that he planned to respond, but as time went by it became too difficult. Thank you for returning his respect and friendship.

  4. Jess waynick
    November 14, 2018 10:09 am

    I visited him many times. During his final days at nhc & his spirit was amazing & he was also a fine neighbor for 27 years in bluerige sub division

    • Jackie Wright
      November 14, 2018 6:03 pm

      Thank you Bob and Donna. He talked about you many, many times over the years. You were a favorite memory of his growing up and his life in Paducah. I also appreciate your recent conversations with Jim about how smart he was and he was that!! I don’t think he ever forgot a thing he ever learned or heard!! You would be pleased to have seen what a good husband, father and provider he was.

      • Jackie Wright
        November 14, 2018 6:08 pm

        Thank you Bob and Donna. He talked about you many, many times over the years. You were a favorite memory of his growing up and his life in Paducah. I also appreciate your recent conversations with Jim about how smart he was and he was that!! I don’t think he ever forgot a thing he ever learned or heard!! You would be pleased to have seen what a good husband, father and provider he was.

    • Jackie Wright
      November 14, 2018 6:18 pm

      Thank you for your friendship and your visits those last days. We always admired you and Reba for all your hard work for Blue Ridge and for being good neighbors

  5. Donna & Bob Bracy
    November 14, 2018 10:52 am

    Wonderful memories of a friend over 60 years starting in Paducah Tilghman High School. The two of us went to General Tire in Mayfield KY to complete an application. He got the job which was the start of his lifetime career. Precious memories of a dear friend. Condolences to Jackie and the children and his brother Jim and his family.

    • Jackie Wright
      November 14, 2018 6:13 pm

      Thank you Bob and Donna. He talked about you many, many times over the years. You were a favorite memory of his growing up and his life in Paducah. I also appreciate your recent conversations with Jim about how smart he was and he was that!! I don’t think he ever forgot a thing he ever learned or heard!! You would be pleased to have seen what a good husband, father and provider he was.

  6. Lynn Foster
    November 16, 2018 2:14 pm

    Jackie, I was sadden to hear of Charles passing. Growing up in Paducah our homes were not far from each other and we spent a lot of time together. We were reasonable students and even studied together some but our real connection was sports. We played baseball on the same team and in some summer leagues as competitors. He was a good athlete, a good friend and genuinely an all around good guy. When I worked at General Tire where I first met you, Charles and I carpooled while I worked there. I left to get a master’s degree in Memphis and ironically was there when his brother Jim was working in Memphis. My mind has been racing back over the years to the good times and all of them bring smiles to my face. Best to you and your family.

    • Jacqueline Hunn Wright
      November 17, 2018 5:00 pm

      Lynn, he talked about you a lot and said what good friends you were . Growing up in Paducah with his family and friends all around him must have laid a good foundation. He was a wonderful, husband, father and provider who always put his family first. He was a good man and helped many who sought his advice. He was generous in every way. I know you would have been proud of your friend. Thank you for your words of comfort and for sharing good memories of him.

  7. Dick Siegel
    November 19, 2018 8:11 pm

    Condolences to Charles’ family. Charles was a classmate at Tilghman. I have not seen Charles since the early sixties. Was pleased to know that he had a loving family and a very successful working career.

    • Jacqueline Hunn Wright
      November 23, 2018 6:15 pm

      Thank you Dick. He was a good man in every way and we were so blessed to have him. He loved his hometown and all the friends he had there.

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