Gary Wayne Wright was the fourth of five children born to S.F.C.(Retired) Willie A., Sr. and Frances (Faulk) Wright on April 1, 1963, in Fort Hood, Texas. He departed this life on Monday, January 6, 2020, from Prisma Health Richland after a brief illness.
Gary attended the public schools of Richland County and graduated with the Class of 1981 from C. A. Johnson High School. While at C.A. Johnson, Gary was well known for his sense of style and his quick wit. Gary could be depended upon to have on the latest fashions and would often redesign his clothes to fit his unique flavor. Gary was also the life of any gathering; whether it was within a crowd during the changing of classes at school or walking through the streets of his beloved neighborhood, Booker Washington Heights with friends, there was never a dull moment when Gary was around. Gary’s flair for fashion led him to sharpen his talents as a fashion model. He enrolled in the Millie Lewis Modeling School and studied under renowned fashion model Sheila Dixon. He really worked hard to achieve this lifelong desire. When Gary finally realized his dream of being a model was hampered by his being vertically challenged (short), he did not let this stop him. The streets of Booker Washington Heights became his runway! He continued to share his gift of fashion with everyone he met.
Gary’s strong Christian faith was anchored by his family’s deep historical roots in Saint John Baptist Church. He was reared in a strong Christian home where being involved in the building of God’s kingdom was the priority. Gary was a member of the Sunday School, Junior Choir and the Usher Board. Gary was also assistant church custodian. He worked diligently next to his dad to maintain the cleanliness of God’s house. As he became older, he continued his affiliation with his church by regularly attending and participating in the Gist/McLawhorn/ Reid Family ministry unit.
Gary was innately a caretaker. He took care of his only sister, Donna, her entire life and he absolutely loved senior citizens. He would often make it to church just in time to make sure his mom, his dad, and their friends were safely in the car to go to Sunday dinner. Gary had a heart of Gold.
Gary met and married his sweetheart Elizabeth Cokely on February 18, 1989. Cokely, as she is affectionately called, gave Gary’s life balance. Her quiet spirit and soft, sweet smile would often calm Gary when he had a boisterous joke to tell or wanted someone to understand his point of view. He loved his “Cokely”.
Gary was predeceased by his sister, Donna and his brother Charles Edward.
Gary is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Cokely Wright; his parents; two brothers, Reverend Willie A.(Kathy) Wright, Sr. of Sumter, South Carolina and Mr. Lewis(Cathy) Wright of North Carolina; five sisters-in-law; two brothers-in-law and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and other loving friends and neighbors who will always fondly remember Gary.
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