Obituary Notices and Memorials


WRIGHT, Edward Jarold
WRIGHT, Edward Jarold Age 88, died surrounded by loved ones in Lancaster, Calif., on Oct. 29, 2014, after a brave battle with cancer. Jarold was born Nov. 13, 1925, in Judsonia, Ark., to parents William A. and Rosa A. Wright (Bridgeman). He enlisted in the 8th Army Air Corps during World War II and served as a radio operator and B-17 E ball turret gunner, flying missions in the European Theatre. After his safe return, Jarold served as the youngest member ever elected to the Jacksonville City Council, then went on to attain his bachelor's degree from Arkansas State Teacher's College. He married the love of his life, Maridelle Wright (Brewer), on Aug. 28, 1948, and taught in Jacksonville for several years before moving to California. Jarold's passion for education led him to pursue his Master's degree from Pasadena College, then to become a well-respected educator and leader within the Antelope Valley community. Mr. Wright touched the lives of many as a reading and English teacher at Piute, Joshua, and Park View schools; as a principal at Piute and Sunnydale schools; as the superintendent of Lancaster School District; and as a member of the Antelope Valley High School board. He was particularly proud that his children and grandchildren were products of local public schools and became successful adults and contributing members of the community. In the early years, Wright's Day Camp was the means by which he 'supported his teaching habit' in lean summer months. There, he showed many children the ways of the outdoors and guided them into making wise choices, picking children up and taking them home in a VW microbus. He and his wife also operated a daycare out of their Lancaster home, where he taught swimming lessons and was known affectionately to his charges as Daddy-Boy. After his retirement from education, Jarold and his wife opened Catfish Ed's Louisiana Barbecue restaurant, bringing their Southern cooking and hospitality to the Antelope Valley. Catfish Ed and Maridelle, along with their barbecue and fried catfish, were beloved by their customers for almost 10 years. After closing Catfish Ed's, he continued to cook, cater, and share his food lovingly with family and friends. Known affectionately as Papa and Pop to his grandchildren, 'Geeze' to his son, and Mr. Wright to thousands of students over the years, Jarold's kindness, warmth, humor, generosity, courage, and loving nature touched the lives of everyone he knew. He is survived by his wife Maridelle of Lancaster, Calif.; son Jarold Jr. and daughter-in-law Betty Wright of Lancaster, Calif.; niece Brenda Lachman of Lancaster, Calif.; granddaughters, Mandy Harris (Eli), Christie Watkins (Sean), and Connie Booth (Hunter Luisi), all of Northern California; great-granddaughters, Emma and Lily Watkins; brother Clifford Wright and sister-in-law Peggy of Jacksonville, Ark.; great-nephews, Bob Lachman and David Hubbard; niece Ellen Leist (Danny) and great-nieces, Heather Ashor, Sumry Lemmenes, Amber Leist, and Savannah Leist; and numerous other nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his brothers, Lloyd, Floyd, Otis, AW, and James Wright, and sisters Lavona Wright, Norma Grady, and Levina Brantly. The family would like to extend their gratitude to the staff of City of Hope Medical Center and Antelope Valley Hospital for their skilled and compassionate care. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014 at 1pm, at Mumaw Funeral Home, 44663 Date Ave., Lancaster, CA, 93534. A reception will follow.

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