Waitsel L. ‘Gummy’ Wright, 86, Akron, Ind., passed away peacefully in his home after and extended fight with cancer at 1:20 p.m. Monday, Dec. 10, 2012, at his residence.
He was born Aug. 14, 1926, in Silver Lake, Ind., to Ed and Bertha (Allen) Wright. He was married to Adeline Matzat until 1971 when she preceded him.
He retired in 1986 from NIPSCO after 26 years of service where he was a welder. Before working for NIPSCO he had worked for Buckeye Pipelines.
He was a 1944 graduate of Silver Lake High School, a member of the Masonic Lodge #79 in Rochester, prior to its closing he was a member of the Akron Masonic Lodge #659 where he was a past Master. He served in the U.S. Navy during WWII as part of the Armed Guard serving on the S.S. Tuskagee.
He was a member of the former Manitou Trotting Association; he enjoyed fishing and farming. He also was a supporter of the Akron Speedway Go-Kart Track where they ran a race each year dedicated to him named the Gummy 50. He could also be found at the coffee shop participating in the Round Table conversations of the day.
He touched many in the Akron community through his involvement as a little league coach. He attended the Olive Branch Church of God and the Pleasant Valley United Baptist Church of Silver Lake.
He is survived by four daughters: Karen Frolick, Akron, Ind.; Sharon (Jay) Heckaman, Silver Lake, Ind.; Shelly (Keith) Davison, Warsaw, Ind.; and Brenda (Tom) Lester, Noblesville, Ind.; three sons: Bruce Hogue, Akron; Royce (Anita) Wright, Akron; Rodney (Carrie) Wright, Akron; a daughter-in-law: Janet Wright, Claypool, Ind.; 11 grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents: Ed and Bertha Wright; two sons: Garry Wright and Larry Wright; daughter-in-law: Diana Hogue; three grandchildren: Josie Heckaman, Aaron Williams and Aubrey Hogue; a sister: Catherine; three brothers: Otto, Eddy (Junior) and David Wright; a half-sister: Edna; and a half-brother: Hebrew.
Visitation will be from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14, at Hartzler Funeral Home, 305 W. Rochester St., Akron. There will be a Masonic Memorial Service at 7 p.m. following visitation. Services will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, in the funeral home with Pastor Frank Whitaker. Burial will be in Lakeview Cemetery, Silver Lake, Ind., where Graveside Military Rites will be conducted by the American Legion and VFW Honor Guard.