Daniel William “Danny” Wright Jr. of Longmeadow, formerly of Vineyard Haven, died peacefully on August 21, 2016 and entered into God’s kingdom to be with his Lord and Savior. He was 82.
Danny was born on September 17, 1933 in Long Island, New York to the late Daniel “Big Daddy” Wright Sr. and Lurline (Sinkler) Wright Templeton. Danny as he was affectionately known attended Avery Normal Institute from elementary school through his high school graduation in 1951. Danny played basketball for four years at Avery. After high school graduation, Danny enrolled at South Carolina State University where he played the saxophone in the band and also enrolled in ROTC.
Danny graduated with a bachelor’s degree from South Carolina State University in 1955 and was a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. He was commissioned into the Army where he served his country during the Korean War and attained the rank as First Lieutenant. Danny was stationed at Ft. Devens, Massachusetts where he was commander of the Army Post’s band.
Danny worked in the post office in Charleston, SC for a few years and then moved his family to Boston in the early 1960s where he attended Berklee School of Music and attained his masters degree.
Danny worked as a Review Examiner for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for 30 years. He then retired and moved to Vineyard Haven where he worked as an auxiliary police officer for the Town of West Tisbury.
Danny was a lifelong musician who formed his own quartet and once backed up the Supremes. Danny played with Johnny Hammond and The Hammond Organ Group. He had his own orchestra, the Danny Wright Orchestra with lead vocals by Earl McDonald. Danny also did the musical arrangements for some songs on the Houston Person’s Underground Soul album, “What the world needs now is love,” “Ballin,” and “If you could see me now.” Danny had a gospel choir in Springfield that also produced an album. His latest musical endeavor was his jazz band which played frequently at Lola’s in Oak Bluffs. He shared his musical talent with many musicians in the Charleston, Boston and Springfield area: namely; Oscar Rivers, George Kenny and Lonnie Hamilton to name a few. His practice room was often at his grandmother’s home on the player piano.
Danny resided in Springfield most of his life, lived in Vineyard Haven for nine years and was a member of the American Legion Post 0257 of Vineyard Haven.
Danny was predeceased by his two younger brothers, George Wright and Robert Theodore “Teddy” Wright. Danny is survived by his wife, Janice B. (Burr) Wright; three sons, Daniel W. Wright III and his wife Janet of Springfield, IL; Andrew L. Wright and his wife Vanessa of Altamonte Springs, FL; and Brian J. Wright of Colorado Springs, CO; four daughters: Dr. Cheryl Grills and her husband Garrett of Inglewood, CA; Carla R. Glenn and her husband Mark of Springfield; Danielle E. Johnson and her fiancé Basil Niccolls of Springfield; and Erica D. Bolden and her husband Wilbur of Springfield; 21 grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren; along with many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
A funeral service for Daniel will be held on Tuesday, August 30 at 11 am at Sampson’s, Chapel of the Acres Funeral Home, 21 Tinkham Road, Springfield. Rites of Committal and Interment with Military Honors will follow in the Chapel of the Massachusetts Veterans Memorial Cemetery, 1390 Main Street, Agawam. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions in Daniel’s memory may be made to the Community Music School, 127 State Street, Springfield, MA. A visiting hour for Danny will precede his funeral on Tuesday from 10 to 11 am. Arrangements under the care of sampsonchapels.com.