Darrell Lucian Wright was born in Sioux City, Iowa, on December 2, 1933 and was the middle child of George S. Wright and Lucille M. (Lange) Wright. He grew up near a river in a loving home, solidifying a precious, lifelong bond with his older brother Vernon Richard Wright and his younger brother Merritt Lee Wright. Together, and undoubtably without their mother's knowledge, the boys explored their river surroundings and engaged in many escapades, including the time they, with an assist from their dog, created a human chain to rescue a brother that fell through the ice and the time they were train hopping and discovered the lifeless body of a hobo.
When Darrell was about ten years old, the family moved to Waterloo, Iowa, where he lived most of his life. While in school, his teacher hit him with a ruler because he wrote with his left hand, but this cruel behavior stopped once his mother found out, and for the remainder of his life, Darrell was left-handed. Also, while in school, it was evident that Darrell had an affinity for science, technology, engineering and math. As an adolescent, he would spend his extra coins at the junk yard, buying items like old typewriters, so that he could take it home, disassemble, figure out how it worked and then reassemble. Over the next several years, Darrell's appreciation for anything mechanical, his fondness for travel and steam locomotives and his devotion to his faith and family grew. In the spring of 1952, Darrell graduated from Waterloo East High and entered the United States Marine Corp. He served a three-year tour of duty in Korea and Japan, was promoted to a Sergeant ranking and was honorably discharged in 1956. After serving his country, Darrell studied his professional trade at schools in Michigan, Texas and Utah.
In February of 1965, Darrell met the love of his life, Ruth Hall, and they were married at the end of that same year. Throughout their 57 years of marriage, they united in shared values and embraced head on all of life's sorrows, victories and adventures, because they had their faith and each other. They had many successes during their marriage and were especially proud of their three children; Sharon Lyn Long (husband; Peter Knutson), Laura Lee Howsden (husband; Seth Howsden), and Darren Richard Wright (wife; Erica Savino Wright).
Darrell was a stellar provider for his family. He was employed by John Deere Waterloo Tractor Works for over 30 years and retired from the Product Engineering Center in 1993. Working in the engineering field, he designed and/or improved components on tractors and implements.
Darrell was always fascinated by trains large and small, working or not working. He had quite a collection of Lionell Trains and designed working layouts in his basement. In addition, Darrell was a talented woodworker and a jack-of-all trades handyman, always ready to help others. He had a passion for traveling and photography. He took his whole family on two or three week long road trips every summer throughout the United States, Mexico and Canada, all of which are documented with prolific movies and slides. After relocating to Colorado in 2003, Darrell enjoyed taking overseas trips and cruises with his wife and treasured friends.
Darrell was a devout Christan and a life-long Lutheran, and a member of Joy Lutheran Church in Parker, CO. He is survived by his wife, Ruth, his three children, and seven grandchildren; Audrey Long (fiancé Daniel Johnson), Rachel Long, Samuel Long, Alexandra Howsden, Liliana Wright, Sydney Howsden and Adelyn Wright. All who knew Darrell loved him, his humor, his bright blue eyes and his interesting stories about his childhood, his time in the military and his travels. He was always a good sport and participated in any silly thing his children or grandchildren asked him to do. He loved dogs and had a particular fondness for pugs.
Under the care of hospice, Darrell died peacefully at home surrounded by his family on May 28, 2023, after a progressive struggle with dementia. He was deeply loved and will be greatly missed. We can only imagine what kind of adventures Darrell and his brothers are having now in heaven. Rest in peace dear Darrell.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made in Darrell's honor to any of the following organizations.
Joy Lutheran Church ~ Alzheimer's Support Team https://www.joylc.org/give
Bristol Hospice: 5700 S. Quebec Street Suite 310 Greenwood Village, Colorado 80111
Alzheimer's Association: Alz.org
The funeral service can be viewed virtually by using the following link Darrell Aright Funeral