Stephen Wright

Obituary of Stephen George Wright

Steve Wright Beloved community member, Stephen George Wright (Age 59) passed away unexpectedly on Dec. 30th. Born and raised in Southern California, Steve brought his bride, Rita, to Santa Cruz in 1972 where they raised their five children. Steve graduated with his Bachelor's at UCSC, attained a law degree from the University of Santa Clara, and devoted over thirty years as an impassioned and dedicated criminal defense attorney. His reputation as a fierce advocate for the protection of people's rights was earned through his tenure with the Santa Cruz Public Defender's Office, in his partnership with Tom Walraff, and later as a sole practioner. Steve's passion and penchant for helping others extended well beyond the court room, as was reflected in the guidance and support he offered to at-risk youth in order to keep them out of the legal system. He was not only a beloved mentor and trusted friend to hundreds in the community, but he became a second father to many. Steve had a gift for seeing and bringing out the best in others, and nowhere was this gift more joyously displayed than on the ball field where he spent 23 years coaching youth sports on the various teams on which his own children played and excelled. For over a decade you could hear Steve's exuberant voice booming over the loud speakers as the announcer for Harbor High School's football team. As an avid sports lover and athlete himself, he played football, basketball, and even college baseball. In Santa Cruz, he played adult league basketball and softball. Steve was a storyteller extraordinaire, always had a ready joke, and you knew you were trouble if he grabbed the mike at a roast. A man of many gifts, he will be most remembered for having a heart the size of Texas, for his generosity of spirit, and for the loyalty he extended to those dear to him. Above all, Steve's greatest love was his family. He spoke often of the immense joy and pride he felt for his wife Rita, his five children, and his new grandson, Kellen. His family will forever honor him by continuing his legacy of love and compassion. Survived by: Loving wife of 40 years, Rita Wright of Santa Cruz; daughter Alison Wright & Kevin Kinkor of Scotts Valley; daughter Stacie Donahue & Stephen Donahue of San Diego; sons Spencer Wright and Davis Wright and daughter Kelsey Wright all of Santa Cruz; grandson, Kellen Kinkor; brothers Fred Wright and Milton Wright and sister Jeannie Butcher. Preceded in death by sister Sigrid Durieux and parents Estes & Evelyn Wright. Two funds have been established in Steve's honor. A Wright College Memorial Fund for his children and a Wright Family Scholarship fund at Harbor High. Contributions can be mailed to: PO Box 8394, Santa Cruz, CA 95061 and made out to either the Wright College Memorial Fund or to Harbor High Booster Club attn: Wright Scholarship. Services will be Sunday at 2 p.m. at Twin Lakes Church in Aptos, with reception following at the Elks Lodge in Santa Cruz.
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A Memorial Tree was planted for Stephen
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Benito & Azzaro Pacific Gardens Chapel
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