(July 11, 1930 – August 8, 2014)
John MacArthur Wright, age 84, passed away on August 8, 2014 at his home in Bloomington from affects incidental to Alzheimer’s disease. He was born July 11, 1930 in Idaho Falls, Idaho to John Wheeler Wright, Jr. and Lela Bell Staker; he was the first of two sons. He married Peggy Oldroyd on May 4, 1955 at the Salt Lake Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
J. MacArthur (“Mac”) Wright graduated from Boise Jr. College in 1951 where he served as Student Body President. He continued his studies at the University of Utah and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English in 1953. Following his graduation from the University of Utah, Mac served in the U.S. Air Force as a navigator from 1953-1957. He was honorably discharged at the rank of captain. Following his service in the Air Force, Mac graduated from Stanford Law School in 1959. He was licensed to practice law in California, Nevada, and Utah.
Mac’s practice of law spanned 48 years. He was one of four principal lawyers pleading the case of nearly 1,200 individuals from small rural communities in Southern Utah, Southern Nevada, and Northwest Arizona alleging deaths and injuries from radioactive fallout that dusted the soil, animals, and people located downwind (called “Downwinders”) from above-ground nuclear testing from 1951-1958, and briefly in 1962, at the Nevada Test Site. The case served as the catalyst for the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act signed into law by George H. W. Bush in 1990. As of July 2014, 25,804 claims under the Act have been approved compensating victims. A soft-spoken man, Mac enjoyed practicing law in Southern Utah where he established enduring friendships with law partners, fellow attorneys and clients. Mac was a gentleman lawyer who believed that the practice of law was a profession and not a business.
Mac served as president of the St. George Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club, and Dixie Little League. He has been a member of Bloomington Country Club since 1971. Mac enjoyed reading, golfing, the outdoors, and taking his family camping. With his wife, Peggy, he especially enjoyed camping at Fish Lake, Utah where Peggy lived during the summers as a child until age ten while her father worked as a fishing guide. Mac enjoyed coaching his daughters and sons on various athletic teams. He was an Eagle Scout and served as a scoutmaster as a younger man.
Mac was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints where he served as a bishop, a counselor to the bishop, a member of the high council, and in the young men’s organization.
He is survived by his wife, Peggy; three children: Susan (Ron) Burns of Salt Lake City; Colette (Stan) Jeppsen of La Crescenta, CA; Jonathan (Linda) Wright of St. George; daughter-in-law, Linda Fry Wright of St. George; brother, Dennis (Anna Lee) Wright; 11 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren. Mac was predeceased by his son, Kevin MacArthur Wright.
The family wishes to thank Curtis A. Carter, MD; Home Instead Senior Care; Dixie Home Rehab and Hospice; and Eileen Garcia for their assistance in providing care for Mac.
- Funeral services will be Wednesday, Aug. 13, at 11 a.m. at the Metcalf Mortuary Chapel, 288 West St. George Blvd, St. George, Utah.
- Visitations will be held at Metcalf Mortuary on Tuesday, Aug. 12, from 6-8 p.m. and on Wednesday, Aug. 13 from 10-10:45 a.m. prior to services at the Metcalf Mortuary Chapel.
- Interment will be at the St. George Cemetery.