Donald W. "Ben" Wright
LE ROY — Donald W. “Ben” Wright died peacefully Friday morning (May 13, 2016) at the Le Roy Village Green, after a long battle with COPD and chronic heart failure.
He was a well-known and respected self-employed local contractor for many years. A Le Roy native and lifelong resident, he will be missed by friends and family including his loving wife, Shari (Soccio) Wright.
Ben was a longtime member of the Le Roy Moose Family Center (Lodge 1132), which he served as Membership Chairman for 20 years and as Treasurer for two terms. He served on several committees including membership for two years and sponsored 225 new and former members — the second-highest total in the history of the Lodge. Mr. Wright received a Fellowship Degree of Honor in 1992.
He also served as President and Vice President of the Old Reel Collectors Association (ORCA), and was for many years a columnist for “ORCA Reel News” magazine. He was the author of five books on antique spinning reels, and was known as the spinning-reel “guru” by many collectors worldwide.
Ben was a starting guard for the 1962-63 Le Roy varsity basketball team — ranked among the greatest in the school’s history — and was one of five players named to the 1963 Class A All-Tournament team. The team was inducted into the Le Roy Oatka Knights Sports Hall of Fame in 2014.
Ben enjoyed all sports, including fishing.
He was the son of the late Bernard Wright and Helen Docking; and half-brother of the late James Uhly.
Surviving in addition to his wife, are his brothers Larry (Pam) Wright of Le Roy and Bernard (Deb) Wright of Alexandria, Va.; half-brother, Dave Uhly; half-sister, Barb Uhly; children, Marcey (Charles) Fox of Livonia, Kory (Sarah) Wright of Geneseo; and Kelly (Ray) Coniglio of Le Roy; sister-in-law, Laurie (Pattie) Soccio of Grant, Fla.; seven grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews.
There will no calling hours or funeral service. Family and friends are invited to a Celebration of Life from 1 to 4 p.m. June 25 at the Moose Family Center, Bank Street, Le Roy. Memorial contributions may be made to the COPD Foundation (www.copdfoundation.org)
Mr. Wright and his family are being cared for by the Falcone Family Funeral & Cremation Service Inc. Your memories and condolences may be shared with Ben's family at www.falconefuneralhome.com.