Cover photo for Marygene Marshburn Wright's Obituary
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1927 Marygene 2024

Marygene Marshburn Wright

November 22, 1927 — February 24, 2024


Marygene Marshburn Wright
November 22, 1927 – February 24, 2024

Marygene was born in Whittier, California, on November 22, 1927. She was welcomed by parents, Rose Olive and Oscar Marshburn, and brothers, Hadley and Howard. Younger brother Ted completed the family two years later.

In the days when citrus groves still dotted Whittier, Marygene grew up in the house her grandparents built on the county road, now Whittier Boulevard. She spent her sophomore and junior years of high school at Olney Friends School in Ohio. Traveling by rail across the country was an adventure for a teen—she spent at least one multi-day trip seated on her suitcase in a train car packed with servicemen. She returned to Whittier High School for her senior year and graduated in 1945.

Marygene got to know Bill Wright during their senior year of high school. They both enrolled at Whittier College and began dating the fall of their freshman year. On August 30, 1946, Marygene and Bill (William Harrison Wright, Jr.) were married. Early in their marriage, they lived in Salem, Oregon, where Jeananne was born, and returned to Whittier before Bill (William Howard) joined the family. After completing his BA and credential, Bill began teaching, and soon Lea made her appearance. In 1952, the family moved into Marygene’s childhood home, and Norman arrived shortly after. The family home was perfect for their growing household and was brimming with the additions of Kirk and Betsy. It was heart and home of the Wright family for 64 years.

For many years, Marygene focused on caring for the family, keeping the calendar, making endless school lunches, and occasionally stitching up matching shirts and dresses. She served on many committees at Whittier First Friends Church, including its United Society of Friends Women and as a youth group sponsor with Bill. Marygene served on the Board of Advisors for Earlham School of Religion and was also an active member of P.E.O. for more than 50 years. She helped manage family rental properties as well as her parents’ home in their advanced years.

In service to the wider community, Marygene spent many election days working at local polling sites and was active in the Whittier Historical Society. She and Bill enjoyed serving together in support of the Whittier Public Library Foundation and Friends of the Shannon Center at Whittier College. Marygene and Bill relished opportunities to travel, whether on a return trip to Yosemite or an Atlantic crossing. Over their years of cruising, they made port on four continents. After Bill’s passing in 2015, Marygene made her home at Morningside in Fullerton in 2016.

Marygene was known for her pies, her cookies, and for always welcoming one more to the family dining table. Many family members have a handmade afghan, flannel quilt, or needlepoint piece she crafted. She enjoyed reading and puzzles and was a worthy Cribbage opponent for Bill. Family get-togethers with children, grandchildren, and, eventually, great-grandkids were favorite times for Marygene and Bill.

Marygene had a calm disposition and a good sense of humor. She was compassionate, conscientious, and always practical—traits no doubt enhanced by raising six children. She passed away peacefully on February 24, 2024, at home in Fullerton with her daughter, Lea, by her side. Marygene is survived by four of her children, Lea, Norman, Kirk, and Betsy; eight grand- and seven great-grandchildren; her brother Ted; and many loving extended family members and friends.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial donations to Whittier Friends School or The Whittier Public Library Foundation.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Marygene Marshburn Wright, please visit our flower store.


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