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Wright RichardWRIGHT, Richard Bruce - (March 4, 1937 – February 7, 2017) -

An acclaimed Canadian author, Richard Wright died peacefully at St. Catharines General Hospital with family at his side. He was 79.

Predeceased by Phyllis, his beloved wife of 51 years, he is survived by his sons Christopher (Vicki) and Andrew (Wendy) and his grandchildren Gage, Millie, Sydney, Abby and Nathan.

The youngest of five siblings, Richard was born in Midland, Ontario, to Laverne and Laura (née Thomas). He was a brother to Jim (Judy), Bill (Marilyn), Doug (Geraldine) and Joyce (Roy LaSalle).

He moved to Toronto when he was 18 to study Radio and Television Arts at Ryerson Institute, and after a brief stint as a radio and newspaper journalist, he was hired by Kildare Dobbs as a junior editor at Macmillan of Canada. Here he wrote his first book, a children’s story entitled Andrew Tolliver, and also met Phyllis Cotton whom he married in 1966.

Together, with newly-arrived son, Chris, they spent a year in the Gaspé where Richard wrote The Weekend Man, a novel that sparked interest in literary circles and established him as an important new voice in Canadian fiction.

Between 1970 and 1995 he published another six novels to critical acclaim, with The Age of Longing short-listed for both the Giller Prize and the Governor General’s Award.

During this period he combined writing with teaching English at Ridley College, a private school in St. Catharines, Ontario.

On his retirement from teaching in 2001, he published Clara Callan, a celebrated novel that won both the Giller and the Governor-General as well as the Trillium Award, and became an international best-seller. Four more novels followed, along with honorary doctorates from Trent and Brock Universities and the Order of Canada in 2007. In 2015 he published his memoir, A Life in Words, and his last novel, NightFall, in 2016.

In their retirement, Richard and Phyllis travelled throughout Europe – a deeply shared pleasure exploring the history and culture of the continent. A die-hard Montreal Canadiens fan, Richard lamented the loss of their greatness, but found countervailing joy in the ongoing misery of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 25th at 1pm at the Ridley College Chapel, 2 Ridley Road, St. Catharines, Ontario.

Donations in lieu of flowers would be appreciated to the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation. Arrangements entrusted with the George Darte funeral chapel.  

NiagaraObituaries.com

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Wright RichardWRIGHT, Richard Bruce - (March 4, 1937 – February 7, 2017) -

An acclaimed Canadian author, Richard Wright died peacefully at St. Catharines General Hospital with family at his side. He was 79.

Predeceased by Phyllis, his beloved wife of 51 years, he is survived by his sons Christopher (Vicki) and Andrew (Wendy) and his grandchildren Gage, Millie, Sydney, Abby and Nathan.

The youngest of five siblings, Richard was born in Midland, Ontario, to Laverne and Laura (née Thomas). He was a brother to Jim (Judy), Bill (Marilyn), Doug (Geraldine) and Joyce (Roy LaSalle).

He moved to Toronto when he was 18 to study Radio and Television Arts at Ryerson Institute, and after a brief stint as a radio and newspaper journalist, he was hired by Kildare Dobbs as a junior editor at Macmillan of Canada. Here he wrote his first book, a children’s story entitled Andrew Tolliver, and also met Phyllis Cotton whom he married in 1966.

Together, with newly-arrived son, Chris, they spent a year in the Gaspé where Richard wrote The Weekend Man, a novel that sparked interest in literary circles and established him as an important new voice in Canadian fiction.

Between 1970 and 1995 he published another six novels to critical acclaim, with The Age of Longing short-listed for both the Giller Prize and the Governor General’s Award.

During this period he combined writing with teaching English at Ridley College, a private school in St. Catharines, Ontario.

On his retirement from teaching in 2001, he published Clara Callan, a celebrated novel that won both the Giller and the Governor-General as well as the Trillium Award, and became an international best-seller. Four more novels followed, along with honorary doctorates from Trent and Brock Universities and the Order of Canada in 2007. In 2015 he published his memoir, A Life in Words, and his last novel, NightFall, in 2016.

In their retirement, Richard and Phyllis travelled throughout Europe – a deeply shared pleasure exploring the history and culture of the continent. A die-hard Montreal Canadiens fan, Richard lamented the loss of their greatness, but found countervailing joy in the ongoing misery of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 25th at 1pm at the Ridley College Chapel, 2 Ridley Road, St. Catharines, Ontario.

Donations in lieu of flowers would be appreciated to the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation. Arrangements entrusted with the George Darte funeral chapel.  

NiagaraObituaries.com

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