Betty Wright

Beloved wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother, Betty Wright, 92, went to be with the Lord Sunday August 31, 2014, surrounded by her loving family at the Hanson Hospice Center.

Celebrating of Life Service will be held at the Zion United Church of Christ, 3001 Veronica Dr. St Joseph, at 10:00 AM on Friday with Rev. Eric Thorson officiating. Visitation will be held 5:00 PM until 7:00 PM Thursday at Starks & Menchinger Chapel at 2650 Niles Road, St. Joseph. Memorials may be made to Zion UCC, and condolences to the family can he added to her online guestbook at

Betty was born in 1922 to Alfred and Nina Zick. She was married to Hunter Wright, her devoted husband, for 72 years. They were blessed with three children: Cynthia Wright Beles of Sarasota, Florida; Stephen (Marlene) Wright of Stevensville; and Christine Wright of Stevensville. Her eleven grandchildren are: Bradley (Dawn) Beles, Scott Beles, Jason (Isabel) Beles, Michael Beles, and Matthew Beles (all of Sarasota, Florida);  Tiffiney (Jeremy) Watson of Mattawan; Nikki (Neil) Harris of Mattawan; and Hunter Wright, Christopher Wright, and Andrew Wright (all of Stevensville). Great grandchildren include: Ryan Beles of Sarasota; Abigail & Cory Watson of Mattawan, Stephen Harris and Landon Harris of Mattawan; and Savanna Beles of Las Vegas, Nevada.

Betty was preceded in death by her parents, her sister Barbara Zick Eddy, and a grandson Stephen Hunter Wright.

Betty was a devoted lifetime member of Zion Evangelical United Church of Christ of St. Joseph. She was both baptized there 90 years ago and married 72 years ago when they were both age 20. She served in many positions, including member of the building committee, and most enjoyed serving as President of Women’s Fellowship. If anyone loved the Lord, her church, her family, her friends, and St. Joe, it was Betty. She will be missed by all, and her true goodness will be missed by her family and friends whom she loved dearly. Betty was a very kind, smiling, happy person, and people enjoyed being with her.

Betty graduated from St. Joseph High School, having been active in many school activities. She then truly enjoyed organizing class reunions every five years. She was 1st runner-up to Miss St. Joseph in 1940 and was very proud to have been raised in St. Joseph. She attended Northern Illinois University before transferring to Kalamazoo College where she was a member of Kappa Phi Sorority and Emeritus Alumni Club. At Kalamazoo College, she met the love of her life.

Betty and Hunter were married on November 4, 1942 and operated an insurance business in St. Joseph for 30 years. They were members of Berrien Hills Country Club for 36 years and volunteered many years at Lakeland Hospital in St. Joseph. Betty was a former member of the American Association of University Women, the Child and Family Services Auxiliary, the Women’s Fellowship of Zion UCC (and served as President), the Krasl Art Center, and the St. Joseph River Yacht Club. Betty loved playing golf, especially with “the golfing girls” who she played with for 25 years. She also loved the beach and boating but, most of all, just being with her friends and family.