Bertsel Otis "Bert" Wright, 87, peacefully left behind the cares of this world on Sunday, January 28, 2018 at the Adler Center for Caring in Aldie, Virginia due to complications of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
Bert is survived by his wife of twelve years, Esther Badger Johnson of Ashburn, VA; his daughters, Gail Wright Lee (Hyeon Kon Lee) of Herndon, VA, Diane Wright Cobb (Dale L. Cobb) of Herndon, VA, and Linda Elsie Wright (Gunther Reimherr) of Veitshoechheim, Germany; grandchildren April Lee, Nathaniel Lee (Janna), Janelle Lee Pham (Jason), Daniel Cobb, Jonathan Cobb (Leanne), and Bethany Cobb; eight great grandchildren; a very special extended family; and, very dear friends. He also leaves behind his much loved pets, his calico cat Curio and Toy Fox Terrier Champ.
He was preceded in death by his first wife of 47 years, Elsa Carman Wright, originally of New York City; his parents, Lawrence Vincent Wright and Edna Mouser Wright, both originally of Ritchie County, West Virginia, and an infant sister Madeline.
Bert was born on January 26, 1931 in the humble coal mining town of Brownton, West Virginia, where he lived his entire youth. He was ambitious and hardworking from an early age, earning and saving to get ahead. In middle school he was already working as the schoolhouse janitor, arriving early in the mornings before everyone else to start the coal stove. During World War II, he also bought, repaired and made money renting out all but one of the bicycles in his hometown.
He attended Philippi High School in Barbour County, West Virginia, where he was a starter on a state championship football team. Continuing to strive for a better life, he took his savings and went to Chicago soon after high school to obtain a degree as an electrical technician from Coyne Electrical School. Upon enlisting in the Navy, he was selected to attend the Navy's Electronics School at Great Lakes and served four years on ships during the Korean War. He then earned a B.S. in Industrial Engineering in 1960 from West Virginia University while working full time at night in the coal mines to support his young family, having married Elsa Carman in 1957 and the couple having their first child a year later.
After graduating, he worked as an engineer in Uniontown, PA and Roanoke, VA before moving to Rochester, NY in 1963 where he worked for Gleason Works and then Xerox. He was promoted to Senior Business Analyst, wrote a book, "Analysis of Acquisition Alternatives" and began teaching "Financial Expenditure Justification" and "Finance for Non-Financial Managers" seminars and classes. The huge success of these courses led to his move to Northern Virginia in 1978 when he was appointed Xerox Corporate Manager of Financial Training and Development at the Xerox International Training Center in Leesburg. Later, he left Xerox to start his own company, International Training and Consulting (INTAC), Inc. and continued to teach his financial training seminars at Xerox, Motorola and other major corporations for many years. After the passing of his first wife, he married Esther Johnson in 2005.
In his time outside work, Bert taught himself to play guitar and liked to write songs and poetry. He enjoyed playing tennis and basketball, continuing into his seventies, and often playing with men half his age. All his life, even into his mid-eighties, he was industrious, spending many hours doing major home improvement projects and working on his cars. In addition, he volunteered in community and church groups such as neighborhood school councils and police department support organizations. Those close to him will remember him as a gifted storyteller, with a remarkable memory and a unique, irrepressible sense of humor.
A memorial service celebrating the life of Bert Wright will be held on Saturday, February 17, 2018 at 2pm at Trinity Presbyterian Church, 651 Dranesville Rd., Herndon, VA 20170. As a Navy veteran, placement of the urn will take place with military honors at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date to be determined. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Capital Caring Hospice or the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation