Helen Wright

Celebration of Life

1:00 pm
Saturday, April 27, 2019
First United Methodist Church of Olympia
1224 Legion Way SE
Olympia, Washington, United States

Obituary of Helen Young Wright

Helen Young Wright went home to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on March 29, 2019, after suffering complications from a fall.

Helen was born in Payette, Idaho on July 16, 1926.  She was the youngest of five children and spent most of her childhood in Southern Oregon.  The family moved to Seattle during her high school years, where she graduated from Roosevelt High.  She then received a BA in Music from Whitman College, which she attended on a music scholarship.

She was an accomplished pianist and, due to her perfect pitch, could plunk out songs she heard on the radio when she was barely old enough to walk.  She taught music in the Bellevue School District and later worked in a dental office before settling into being the best mother/homemaker anyone could ask for.  She continued teaching private piano lessons well into her 70s and was still playing her grand piano as her 93rd birthday approached.

After her first marriage ended, Helen was a single mom for several years.  In spite of limited resources and the demands of private teaching in addition to a full-time job, she managed to give her children a childhood they will never forget. Memories include mini-vacations, camping in the back yard, cracked-crab-and-Lawrence Welk on Saturday nights, innumerable church functions (she was the choir director), and some excitement such as when her '37 Chev caught fire on a steep hill full of kids playing and she managed to guide it to a safe stop while standing on the running board. That was Helen – never a dull moment!

In July 1964, she married C. Irvin Wright, also a musician and a music teacher in the Tacoma Schools and then Olympia.  They lived in Fircrest for ten years but eventually acquired a remarkable property on Budd Inlet in Olympia, where they raised their son, Scott, and Helen enjoyed entertaining their many, many friends.  She was a wonderful cook and could probably have taught “Miss Manners” a thing or two about being a gracious host.

Helen was a giver.  Meals for sick friends, service work at church and PEO, tireless support for Irv’s Youth Symphony work, rallying the extended family for reunions, providing 24-hour care for Irv so he could remain in their home rather than a nursing facility as his Parkinson’s advanced – these are just a few examples of her selflessness. 

Irv died in 2010 and Helen moved to Panorama in Lacey, where she continued her musical and social pursuits.  In 2016, she moved once again, this time to Assisted Living at The Sequoia in Olympia, where she flourished with the help of the attentive staff.

Helen is survived by her daughter, Terilee Allsop-Howat (Dave) of Sequim, Washington; son, Steve Allsop (Susan) of Tacoma; five grandchildren; and her beloved little dog, Mr. Wags.  Her husband, Irv, and son, Scott, predeceased her, as did her sister and three brothers.

A celebration of Helen’s life will be held Saturday, April 27, 2019, 1:00 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, 1224 Legion Way SE, Olympia, WA 98501.  The family welcomes friends and acquaintances to add their memories of Helen to the condolences section of this page.    

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