Oline Hawthorne Wright, 89, avid reader, sports-watcher, and flirt, of Winchester, VA died peacefully Wednesday, September 4, 2019 at his home. Mr. Wright was born October 9, 1929, in Nelson County, VA, the son of Willie and Flora Bryant Wright. He was the personification of a “hard working man” but did find the gumption to retire from Kansas Packing Co. in the field of maritime supplies in the shipping industry.
Long before the “farm to table” and “zero waste” movements overtook popular culture, Oline was growing his own tomatoes (among other things), giving leftovers a new purpose by making his own “icebox stew”, and using every part of every vegetable, fruit, or piece of meat to pass between his hands in the kitchen. Most recently, he was a member of First Christian Church of Winchester, Shawnee Ruritan Club, Appomattox Moose Lodge #975, and American Legion of Norfolk, VA. Throughout his years, he remained a steadfast Washington Redskins fan and adored Little League baseball, which started with the Azalea Little League in Norfolk where he coached and developed sponsorships. Despite his allegiance to the NFL and Little League, a dear neighbor, Mike Chipley, almost converted Oline to being a WVU fan.
As mentioned before, Oline was a flirt and loved many things and people so thoroughly that despite his Earthly presence ending, his affection lives on. He loved volunteering his time with Habitat for the Humanity, Challenged Sports Exchange, and various other civic organizations. Until his health became cumbersome, he was an eager player of Scrabble, cards, and loved playing Dominoes with his friends, specifically with his “second wife”, Pat, as he liked to joke. He made many friends over the years, George and Janet Hughes were strong supports in the end; while George and Oline’s wives ran 5ks and races, George and Oline dubbed themselves the “Running Husbands” as they support their spouses’ ventures.
There were many women in Oline’s life, and he preferred them strong and smart. His first wife, Pauline Thomas Wright, preceded him in death. As the only boy in a family of five sisters, he learned how to be the best; his sisters: Pearl Fitzgerald, Marie Dorsey, Lovey Roach, Johnnie Drumheller, and Ruby Lawhorne, all loved to tease him and were waiting to greet him in Heaven as well. Those important women prepared him for his last wife, Dianne Rigby, whom he married on April 14, 1993 in Lynchburg, VA. Oline is survived by two daughters, who he coached into being head-strong and funny, like himself: Sharon Wheeler, of Arrington, VA, and Virginia Scott, of Charlottesville, VA.
He is also survived by two grandchildren: Carrie Wheeler (Jamie) and Jason Wheeler, and two great grandchildren. As the last living child of his parents, he became the Patriarch of the Wright family and leaves behind many branches of the family tree. Many of his family members will remember his usual, fashionable get-up of cloth, elastic-waisted shorts and a white t-shirt in his later years, or blue-gray overalls and boots while riding his many beloved pieces of field equipment. Or they may remember his many “Members Only” jackets and shiny shoes. Depending on the time period, his hair may have been permed or slicked back with pomade--either way, he liked to make his own fashion statements. No matter the time or place, family and friends will remember his big, strong hands that soothed tears, made meals, and shook hands.
The family will receive friends Friday, September 13, 2019 from 6:00 — 8:00 p.m. at Jones Funeral Home in Winchester. A funeral service will be held Saturday, September 14, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. at First Christian Church, 75 Merriman’s Lane, Winchester, VA 22601.
Online condolences may be left at www.jonesfuneralhomes.com.