Rodney Lee Wright, 94 of Rouses Point passed away in his home with Jerolyn, his wife of 68 years whom he had loved for over 70 years by his side. His daughter Bonnie, his only and favorite daughter who he greatly respected and adored held his hand. His faithful friend, Jake, the number one dog was in attendance.
Rodney was born in West Chazy, the son of Hillary and Glenn Wright. He was drafted into the Army and served in the Infantry’s 78th Division. He boarded an overcrowded troop ship enroute to Europe, spending nine days dodging German submarines. (It took many years before Jerolyn could talk him into taking a cruise.) He fought in the Battle of the Bulge. When the war was over he returned home, his step-father, George (Pop) Ingalls asked him what he was going to do. Rodney was going to buy a car and go to Florida. And Pop said, “No, we are going to buy some land and build a motel.” As the transactions for the land acquisition were underway, Rodney held several different jobs. It was a time when milk was delivered to doorsteps in glass bottles. He became the proverbial “milkman”. Another time through sleet and snow and days that made him sweat he dragged a fuel hose from house to house. And then there was the stint with the NJ Railroad, when he wasn’t throwing switches he was riding in the caboose. And then in 1950 the Am-Can Motel was born. Rodney and Jerry were married in 1952. They returned from their honeymoon to the motel and made it their home midst meeting with their many guests, many of whom became life-long friends. He was a faithful, life-long member of the First Presbyterian Church in Rouses Point and served as clerk of the session for many years. In 1955 their first child, Lee Scott was born. Two years later Bonnie arrived and their life was complete. Rodney was a self-made man with an admirable work ethic. He knew how to do many things and the things he didn’t know how to do didn’t seem to impress him. Jerolyn told him that if he didn’t know how to do so many things so well, he would indeed have less to do. In 1955 he was offered a job at F. W. Meyers & Co. Brokerage firm. He began work there as a night clerk and retired as a Vice President. In 1986 he retired from Meyers and they sold the Am-Can Motel and built the house where they lived happily ever after. A couple of years before the retirements took place, they visited families in Florida. According to Jerry, they went shopping one day while there and she thought he was going to buy a set of golf clubs and they came home with a motor home. They toured the USA covering all but two of the 48. He was a member and commander of the American Legion Post 912 and in 2006 became Clinton County Legionnaire of the year. He was on the initial honor flight from the North Country to Washington and Robert St. John was his guardian. He was a 70 year member of the Grand Lodge of the free and accepted masons of New York State and a master of the Champlain lodge. They also enjoyed boating on that beautiful lake. But then there was a turn of events. Rodney at 44 years of age, through no fault of his own, became the unwilling owner of a set of golf clubs. He considered golf to be an old man’s game, but in true Rodney fashion, he taught himself to play golf and won two championships. He found it difficult to put the boat in the water and his clubs in the car. A few years ago, Rodney’s sight began to fail and his world narrowed. But he never gave up trying to read and continued his trips down to the basement where he kept company with his Model A. After he returned from his devastating time in the hospital a few days after Christmas, he told Jerry and Bonnie that he needed to have a conversation. He was in full Rodney mode, dotting all the i’s and crossing all the t’s. He said he had lived a very good life, and he thanked God every day for it. But he was ready to give up his earthly bonds. They lovingly and tearfully said they would support his decision. And so Hospice entered their lives and her name was Heather Gordon Newell. She was kind and caring and professionally calming. Should anyone want to make a donation in Rodney’s name, Hospice of the North Country is the place to do it.
Rodney is survived by his wife, Jerolyn, who has said that he was always the man that she had married. There were no surprises. He was always faithful, honest and kind; his loving daughter, Bonnie Reid and her husband Gary; her two daughters, Katie and her three children, Tatla, Emmaleigha and Calum; Chelsey and her surviving twin, Patrick James; Katie and Chelsea’s dad, Patrick McDonough; his granddaughter, Sarah and her two children, Acaydia and Caspian; his grandson, Ryan and his fiancee Amber; his granddaughter, Erin and her husband Dillon. He is further survived by the children of his two brothers, Marc, Henry, Kenny, Amy and Nancy; his niece Sharon Wolbert and husband, Daniel McGovern.
He was predeceased by his son Lee, his great grandson, James Patrick, his parents, George and Hilary Ingalls; his brother, Claire and his wife Dorothy and their three children, Baby Beth, Danny and Bobby; his brother Keith and his wife Arlette; his in-laws, Stanley and Ruth Edgerton; his sister and brother in-law, Winnie and George Wolbert.
There will be a graveside service in the spring in Glenwood Cemetery in Champlain.
Arrangements are in the care of the Ross Funeral Home, 2586 US-11 Mooers. To offer an online condolence, please visit www.ROSSFUNERALHOMES.com
To send flowers to Rodney's family, please visit our floral store.