Cover photo for Esther Wright's Obituary
Esther Wright Profile Photo
1917 Esther 2017

Esther Wright

April 26, 1917 — February 6, 2017

Esther Victoria (Peterson) Wright passed from this earth on Monday, February 6, 2017 in her home in Bastrop, Texas, a few weeks short of her 100th birthday. The last of the Peterson Girls, Esther was born in 1917 in Bastrop in a home built by her father. She grew up on Jefferson Street and attended Bastrop Public Schools, graduating from Bastrop High in 1935. She received her bachelor's degree from Southwest Texas State Teacher's College in San Marcos and began her teaching career in Pearsall, Texas. She married Fred Graves Wright on June 24, 1940 and remained in Pearsall until Fred joined the Navy during World War II. At the behest of "Fessor" Dodson, she returned to Bastrop where she taught English and Physical Education and coached girls' athletics. When Fred returned from the Pacific Theater, he also began teaching and coaching, and the two of them formed the first girls' volleyball team in Bastrop High School history.

Fred, Jr. came along in October of 1946, and Fred, Sr. soon returned to the oil business. Esther continued her teaching and coaching career, guiding girls' basketball, volleyball, and tennis teams, and becoming a much-loved and much-respected member of the BHS faculty while earning a Master's Degree in Education from SWTSTC. In the 1950s they purchased property on what was then Lake Granite Shoals in Kingsland. This became their weekend getaway, and in 1963 Fred and his brother Fendall ("Tex") founded FredTex Marineland, a boat and RV dealership on what later became Lake LBJ. Visiting the Wright's home on the lake became a summer tradition for Fred, Jr. and his classmates and friends. When Fred, Jr. graduated from Bastrop High in 1965, they moved permanently to Kingsland, and Esther began teaching in Llano High School where she quickly became as loved and respected as she had been in Bastrop.

When they decided to retire, they sold the boat dealership and their home and embarked on a series of months-long road trips, pulling their travel trailer across the United States. They would come home to Bastrop and spend a few weeks on their property in the pines just east of town, and then would pull up stakes and hit the road again. They retired from their travels in 1993, returning to Bastrop and purchasing their Water Street home. The tragic loss of Fred, Jr. and his wife Glenda in January of 1996 was a terrible blow, but Esther and Fred, Sr. leaned on family and friends to help them through it. Their 64-year marriage ended with Fred's passing in 2005.

Both excellent athletes, Esther and Fred devoted themselves to golfing and were dedicated members of the Bastrop Senior Golf Association, where they made many lifelong friends. Esther logged 4 holes-in-one during her golfing career, and was still hitting the links, chipping and putting, at age 99. She spent many hours as an honored fan of Bastrop High athletics, attending games with her sister Elsie in their reserved seats and becoming a role model for the kids for whom she cheered. A lifelong member of First United Methodist Church in Bastrop and a 76-year member of the Order of the Eastern Star, Esther was always smiling, always positive, and always ready with an encouraging word. It wouldn't be possible to count all of the people who considered her a dear friend; she was loved and will be missed by all who knew her. She especially treasured the friendships of golfing buddy Yvonne Mellinger and next-door neighbor Martha Harris.

She was preceded in death by her husband Fred, Sr., her son and daughter-in-law Fred, Jr. and Glenda, her parents John T. and Elin Peterson, her brother Steen, sisters Ruth, Mary, and Elsie, brothers-in-law Glen Carlson, Fendall Wright, and J.B. Wright, and sister-in-law Mary Wright Mobley. She is survived by granddaughters Jenny Rodriguez and Kristen Hilsabeck, grandsons Will Murry and Adrian Bacon, great-grandchildren Cassandra, Logan, and Lizabeth Rodriguez, niece Mary Wright Pippert, nephews Jim Wright and John Crawford, sister-in-law Marjorie Wright, and brother-in-law Norman Crawford.

Visitation will be held Wednesday, February 8th, 4 PM-7 PM at Marrs-Jones-Newby Funeral Home, 505 Old Austin Hwy, Bastrop, Texas. Services will be Thursday, February 9th at 2 PM, First United Methodist Church, 1201 Main in Bastrop with burial at Fairview Cemetery in Bastrop. Memorial contributions can be made to the Fred Wright, Jr. Memorial Scholarship Fund c/o First National Bank of Bastrop, Drawer F, Bastrop, TX 78602, to First United Methodist Church of Bastrop, or to a cause of your choice.

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