K. Wright, 87, died Thursday, February 12 in a Tulsa hospital after a short
illness. She was the granddaughter of Felix G. Keith and Chauncey D. Evans.
The two families land, banking and construction interests were instrumental
in the development of Indian Territory in the late 1800s and in the founding
of Collinsville in 1899.
She was the first child
born to Frank A. Evans and Maybelle Keith Evans on a day she often
liked to joke about, 9-11, 1916. She was a 55-year member of the Collinsville
United Methodist Church. Betty retired as The Collinsville News business manager
and columnist in 1987 when the 87-year-old publication was sold to Neighbor
Newspapers. The Wright family founded The News in 1899. At the time of the
sale the newspaper was the oldest continuously published newspaper in Tulsa
She is survived by six
children: Don Wasson and wife Shirley, Vera; Mary Wasson Elliott, Kenai, AK;
Jerry Wasson and wife Lisa, Kenai, AK; Phillip A. Wright and wife Carol, Tulsa;
Jane Wright Schlueter and husband David, Waco, TX; and Ted Wright, Collinsville.
Also surviving are three brothers, Marvin Evans, Jones Creek, TX, Ralph Evans,
Oologah, and Robert Evans, Palisade, CO. Her step-mother Clover Evans of Oologah
also survives. At the time of her death Betty was also matriarch to 21 grandchildren
and 28 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by brother Melvin Evans,
daughter-in-law Marlene LaClair and baby Helen Wright, and by her husband
of 51 years, John P. Wright, former publisher of The Collinsville News.
Today the buzz words Pushing
the Envelope get bantered about frequently. Betty Wright lived a life
that could be characterized with that phrase. She was graduated salutatorian
of her high school class at age 16 in 1933. Betty was the first CHS graduate
whose parents earned their diploma at the same school. She immediately enrolled
in Tulsa Business College and with the $1.25-a-week her brothers earned peddling
milk from the family farm and from delivering the Tulsa World, she graduated
two years later with her associate business degree.
She married J. H. Wasson
in 1936. They were married five years and had three children. During World
War II, as a single mother, she was a billing clerk for Collins-Dietz-Morris.
Later during the war she was part of the Rosie the Riveter workforce
at Douglas Aircraft in Tulsa. Her responsibilities were to make sure all the
parts were available to build the B-25 bombers. By the end of the war she
was a statistical typist at Phillips Petroleum in Bartlesville.
She married John P. Wright
in 1946. They had three children. As soon as Phillip, Jane Ann and Ted were
old enough, she became business manager and columnist for The Collinsville
News in 1954. Ted says his entire adolescent life was chronicled in Bettys
Bit, a journal-type column she shared with her readers. She wrote the
column for 34 years. Every one of my kids went to college, she
once noted in Bettys Bit. And she consistently used her weekly column
to emphasize the importance of history in the community. Every
early-day familys arrival in the city, and their dreams of success in
Collinsville were told in the columns of The News. The Oklahoma Heritage Association
twice picked The News as the best example of historical chronicles in the
Betty was the long-time
secretary of the Collinsville Chamber of Commerce; she was secretary and past
president of the C.O.E. Club; her 10-plus years of helping organize the Old
Timers Reunion kept it going until most of the Old Timers were gone.
children all have special stories they tell of their mother. Daughter Mary
likes to recollect the day Mother found a 5-gallon bucket of lard lying
beside the road. It had fallen from a delivery truck on old Highway
75 near Vera. During WWII that was like finding a gold mine, Mary recalls
and she still remembers Mother and us three kids weaving tied-together
Curity baby diapers into the handles of the lard bucket so we could hoist
it up into the car.
Interment will be at Ridgelawn
Cemetery, Collinsville, under direction of Collinsville Funeral Home.
Life May End.. But
Love Never Ends!