The Rev. Virgil Gene Wright, 79, passed away Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, at St. Mary's Medical Center.
He was born in Harrisburg April 7, 1933, to Virgil and Rosa Mae Wright.
Gene was a U.S. Army veteran serving from 1953 until 1955.
The Rev. Wright was called to the ministry in 1957 and began and served his first church in Kankakee until 1967, moving to Evansville, Ind., there pastoring several churches within the General Baptist denomination then moving to Boonville, Ind., in 1976. He pastored at Otter Creek General Baptist Church beginning 1973 until 1989., when he moved to Bowling Green, Ky., and pastored at Cave Mill General Baptist Church. In 1992 he moved to Central City, pastoring at Green River Chapel. In 1994 he moved to Richland, Ind., pastored at Free Zion and Richland General Baptist Church as full time ministry then served other churches on an interim calling.
In 1977 he founded Wright's Heating, Cooling and Refrigeration. His son, Mark, entered the business in 1996 and continues it today.
Gene was a member of Richland Masonic Lodge No. 702 F&AM.
Throughout the years he did missionary work in Haiti, Philippines, China and Israel.
Gene was preceded in death by his parents, and one brother, Harold.
Surviving are his wife of 60 years, Natalie; three children, Robin Smith (Michael) of Evansville, Ind., Susan Holder (Otto) of Evansville, Ind., Mark Wright (April) of Richland, Ind.; eight grandchildren; Scott (Crimson) Smith of Tennyson, Ind., Kathryn (Michael) LaGrange of Evansville, Ind., Aaron (Amanda) Holder of Mount Vernon, Ind., Michelle (Eric) Walden of Indianapolis, Ind., Bethany (Bradley) Huebner of Newburgh, Ind., Cody Stillwell of Evansville, Ind., Lauren Wright of Richland, Ind., Christopher (Melissa) Smith of China; seven great-grandchildren; five brothers, Wayne (Stella) Wright of Harrisburg, Bill (Edna) Wright of East Peoria, Charles (Jeanine) Wright of Eldorado, David (Judy) Wright of Chicago, the Rev. John (Carolyn) Wright of Kankakee; and several nieces and nephews.
Funeral services are 10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012, at Koehler Funeral Home-Boonville Chapel. The Rev. John Wright will officiate the service with burial in Sunset Memorial Park Cemetery with military rites. Friends may call 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012, and 9 a.m. to service time Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012, at Koehler Funeral Home-Boonville Chapel. A Masonic Memorial service will be conducted at 7 p.m. Wednesday by the Richland Masonic Chapter No. 702, followed by a time of sharing memories.
Memorial contributions in memory of Gene may be made to the Bread of Life Ministry, P.O. Box 12, Lynnville, Ind. 47619, or General Baptist International Missions, 100 Stinson Drive, Poplar Bluff, Mo. 63901.
Condolences and any special remembrance may be made online at www.koehlerfuneralhome.com.