Roland M. Wright, Newspaperman, Longtime Wallingford resident
Roland McMillan Wright, most recently of Brookhaven, Pennsylvania, died peacefully September 16th, 2020 at Lankenau Hospital. He was 88.
Predeceased by his wife of 43 years, Barbarann (Skelly) Wright, Roland is survived by his children, Julie Hyland (husband Thomas) of Havertown, PA, Jennifer Erickson (husband Peter) of Milwaukee, WI, and James Wright (wife Melissa) of Wallingford, PA, seven loving grandchildren (Meghan, Hanna, Michael, Timothy, Blayze, Brigid, and Madeline) and favorite cousins David Duncombe and Connie Skelly.
Born in Philadelphia to John and Florence Wright, both of Irish immigrant families, Mr. Wright embraced his passion for journalism at an early age, producing a neighborhood newspaper in his early teens. He attended Central High School and University of Pennsylvania, working as an editor for both student newspapers. Following graduation in 1953, Roland entered the Army, spending most of his 22 months of service in post-war Korea, writing for his Second Infantry Division newspaper, and later at Eighth Army Forward Headquarters. Some of his articles appeared in Stars and Stripes.
In the years that followed, he worked as a police reporter for the Daily Local News of West Chester and as managing editor of The Main Line Times, during which time he met wife Barbarann while covering local politics. They would marry in 1966. Two years later, the family made the risky move to Alaska, where Roland took a position as news editor of The Anchorage Daily Times. Cost of living chased the family back east, after which Roland spent time at the Delaware County Daily Times and later, King of Prussia’s Today’s Post.
In 1975, Roland found a home at The News Journal in Wilmington, Delaware, where he would remain for the next three decades. Aside from copy-editing and layout, he handled the occasional book review and, from 1987 to 1998, wrote a popular weekly column (often featuring his children, No. 1 and No. 2 daughters and No. 1 son). He also made a number of lifelong friends.
Always driven to provide for his family, most of the 70’s and 80’s found him doing additional editing work as a second job.
He will be remembered for setting up weekly spelling bees for his young children, summer ‘driving vacations’ (that typically included a Civil War battlefield), watching the Phillies on his outdoor television, and asking anyone taking a trip to “bring [him] back a newspaper.”
Funeral Service will be held at the Donohue Funeral Home, 8401 West Chester Pike, Upper Darby, PA 19082 on Tuesday, September 22nd, 2020. Visitation will run from 5:00-7:00 PM with a Funeral Service beginning at 7:00 PM. A private burial will take place at 11:00 AM on Wednesday.
Per the CDC guidelines and the State of Pennsylvania, masks are to be worn when visiting the family and the Funeral Service. Social distancing is to be observed.
In lieu of flowers, please support local journalism. Consider a subscription to your local newspaper, or a donation to Central High’s Capital Campaign, to further the opportunities of Central’s journalism students: https://centralhighalumni.com/support/ and mention Roland in the comment section, or you can mail a check to AACHS, PO Box 26580, Philadelphia PA 19141.
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