SLIS Marks the Passing of Former Dean John G. Wright,

With sadness, SLIS marks the recent passing of John G. Wright, Dean from 1984-87.

5 July 2022

The School marks the passing of John G. Wright, Dean of what was then the Faculty of Library Science from 1984-1987. His obituary is copied below. 

John Garrick Wright

24 October, 1928 to 18 June, 2022

John Wright was born on October 24, 1928 in the small town of Star City, Saskatchewan, in the home of his Aunt Fanny with the help of the local Doctor Brigham. John's parents were Ruby and Hilburn (better known as Dutch) Wright. John was the eldest of three brothers: Keith, James, and Bruce, and a sister Faith. John grew up in a loving Christian home with very strong family ties. He attended public school in Canora, Saskatchewan where his father operated the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool Elevator. When his father joined the Air Force during WWII, the family moved back to Star City to be closer to his mother's Joyce family. He graduated from Star City High School with the Governor General's Bronze Medal in 1947.

After attending the Saskatoon Normal School for three summers to earn his Teaching Certificate, he taught in two elementary public schools before entering the University of Saskatchewan for his Bachelor of Education degree in 1952. While teaching English in the Tisdale High School he was awarded a scholarship to Columbia University in New York City where he earned his Master's degree in library science in 1957. The following year he served as School Unit Librarian for the Wadena School Unit in Saskatchewan before returning as school librarian in the newly opened Tisdale Unit High School. Increasingly involved in the growth of library programs in public schools, he took the position as librarian in the newly opened Aden Bowman Collegiate in Saskatoon where his work in organizing the Saskatchewan School Library Association earned him the appointment as Supervisor of School Libraries for the provincial Department of Education in 1963.

He became president of the newly organized Canadian School Library Association in 1967. In that year he joined the newly opened School of Library Science at the University of Alberta, becoming Dean in 1984. He married his wife Shirley Ellison, a colleague in the newly developed Faculty of Library and Information Studies in 1972. Increasingly involved with library associations at the national and international levels, he became Vice-President of the International Association of School Librarians in 1983. Upon retirement in 1987, he became associated with a number of local social-oriented organizations, particularly with the Edmonton Presbytery of the United Church of Canada, serving as its Chair in 1990. He was a long time member of the No Room in the Inn committee of the Edmonton & District Council of Churches. He also was a member of the Church Councils of McDougall United Church and more recently of Garneau United Church.

He and Shirley moved into the Ashbourne Place for assisted living in 2015, Shirley passed away in 2017 and John continued to reside at Ashbourne Place until his passing on June 18, 2022 at the Norwood Hospice in Edmonton. John is survived by his brothers, James (Grace), Bruce (Judy), brother-in-law Dale (Joanne) Walker, sister-in-law Rosemary Jackson (Duane Hadley), and sister-in-law Mary Ellison. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his wife Shirley, his parents, Ruby and Hilburn, brother Keith, sister Faith. sister-in-law Jean (Harold) Stevens and brother-in-law Buster Ellison.

A memorial service and internment will be held at Westlawn Memorial Gardens, 16310 Stony Plain Road, Edmonton, Alberta on Thursday, July 07 at 2 PM.