You may also make a donation by sending a check to: Alaska Geological Society PO Box 101288 Anchorage, Alaska 99510
Dear Alaska Geological Society Members,
On Friday, June 11, 2021, I received a text from Sarah Wright, Steve Wright’s wife, that Steve passed away with Sarah and Chelsea (his daughter) at his side. Steve was an active member of the society and currently served in the role of Director. Sarah mentioned how much he enjoyed serving on the AGS board because he loved geology so much. Sarah asked me to send this news to his friends and former colleagues and she passed along a copy of the obituary to me this week (below). It is a beautiful acknowledgement to Steve’s life and his commitment to family, education, and his life passion of geology. Steve and Sarah agreed to postpone a service for now and have him cremated.
Stephen Scott Wright, 67, passed away at Providence Alaska Medical Center with his wife of 34 years Sarah and his daughter Chelsea at his side. He was born on March 12, 1954 in Denver, Colorado, to Marjorie (Midge) and Valdon (Rocky) Wright. He spent his early years in Colorado. The family moved to Shaker Heights, Ohio in 1965. With a fascination in the natural world around him, Steve graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor’s degree in Oceanography Engineering in 1976 and from the University of Texas at Austin with a Master’s degree in Geology in 1980.
He began his 40-year career as a professional geologist in Denver in 1980. In 1982, while living in Boulder, he met the love of his life and future wife, Sarah Thompson. Steve and Sarah were married in Key Largo, Florida in 1986 and became parents in 1988 with the birth of their beautiful daughter Chelsea Paige Wright. After experiencing life in Houston, Texas, Steve and his family moved to Eagle River, Alaska in 1997. With their four-legged pack-mates always ready to go, they began to explore and enjoy adventures throughout Alaska. Whether cross-country or down-hill skiing & snowboarding in the winter or hiking, paddling any and all floating craft, and camping in the summer, Steve loved sharing every aspect of life in the Last Frontier with his family.
Steve was a strong and active proponent for the power of education throughout his adult life. He took elementary school students fossil-collecting while in grad school in Austin, TX, recruited and mentored young geologists starting their careers from many US universities, led world-wide groups of professional colleagues on annual geology field seminars, and served on many boards and committees for the University of Alaska, the Alaska Geological Society, and the Municipality of Anchorage and the State of Alaska. Steve thought of Alaska as geology-heaven, and he enjoyed giving public presentations on the varied aspects of the geologic history of Alaska. Steve also enjoyed boating and scuba-diving, live music, cooking, RV’ing and most of all spending quality time with his wife Sarah, his one true soulmate, and his daughter Chelsea. He is survived by his loving wife Sarah, daughter Chelsea and brother Brent.
Steve’s life was cut short by an incomplete diagnosis by an OPA physician. No service is planned at this time. Sarah and Chelsea will celebrate his life by remembering his uniquely amazing character…kind, generous, interesting and passionate. His light burns brightly in the hearts of all who knew him. If you should encounter either Sarah or Chelsea, celebrate him by sharing a remembrance you hold in your heart. Donations in Steve’s honor can be made to the Alaska Geological Society, PO Box 101288, Anchorage Alaska 99510. Geology was not only his profession, it was his passion.
In closing, I want to share a recent story about Steve and his commitment to the Alaska Geological Community. Steve had been receiving treatment for his health in Alaska and in Colorado. Yet, Steve still offered to lead the effort of this year’s AGS elections. I was his committee. When we were in the final stages of the election process, he was in Colorado for treatment. One afternoon he called me with the final election results to share with the AGS board at our monthly meeting (he could not attend because he was in the hospital receiving treatment). After our meeting, he still checked in from the hospital to make sure everything went ‘okay,’ and then he sent out his portion of the acceptance emails as soon as he got out of the hospital.
Steve was passionate about geology, and he served all of us in his commitment to help our geological community thrive and grow.
We will really miss working with Steve Wright. He was an excellent man.