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The Community News • P.O. Box 1031 • 203 Pecan Dr. • Aledo, TX 76008 • 817-441-7661 • FAX: 817-441-5419
Mary Wright Connell, local poet and artist, died peacefully in her sleep Sunday, October 23. She was 83.
Born Mary Nelle Wright in Dallas on August 16, 1928 to James Claude and Marie Lyster Wright, she grew up alongside an older brother, Jim, and a younger sister, Betty Lee.
Mary grew up in Weatherford, where she graduated from high school at age 15. She attending five universities including Cumberland University law school and was a member of Mensa. She had a varied professional life, at various points she helped her father manage a family business; owned/operated small hotels in Santa Fe, New Mexico and The Unicorn restaurant in Fort Worth; and was secretary to an ambassador in Washington, D.C.
Mary’s memory will live on through her poetry, sculptures and paintings. Several books of Mary’s poetry were published including After the Badlands, From the Skin In, and Help is on the Way which was published in London with a foreword by Graham Greene. Performances of Mary’s poetry and songs have been staged at Hip Pocket Theater, the Grandbury Opera House, and Caravan of Dreams. Letters exchanged between Mary and Graham Greene are included in archival collections of Graham Greene’s papers.
Mary’s full-hearted embrace of life was often expressed in her poetry:
Whether we feasted or whether we fasted,
our wine was not warm and our warmth was not wasted.
Our summer had shimmer and shape while it lasted,
our apples and grapes did not shrivel untasted.
From From the Skin In, by Mary Connell
She is survived by her brother, former U.S. House Speaker Jim Wright of Fort Worth; her sister, retired professor Dr. Betty Lee Wright of Wimberley; three children, Carol Simpson, William B. Lamb and Lyster Connell; four grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and one great, great-grandchild.