Leland Van Dyke “Lee” Wright, 85, died on May 17, 2019 at the Seward Memorial Hospital in Seward NE. Lee was born on February 10, 1934 to Herman J and Gladys (Van Dyke) Wright in Shelton NE. Lee moved to Hastings NE with his family at the age of 5. The day after graduation from Hastings High in 1951 Lee joined the military.
Lee served in the Navy as Gunner’s Mate on the USS Duncan for 4 years of active combat during the Korean War. Lee was honorably discharged on February 3, 1955 at which time he returned to Hastings NE and met the love of his life, Wanda Burge. Lee and Wanda were married on November 22, 1955 and moved to Lincoln NE. While in Lincoln among other jobs Lee worked as a guard at the Nebraska State Penitentiary for 4 years.
In 1961 Lee and Wanda and their 3 children moved to Blue Hill, NE where they spent the next 55 years. For 20 of those years Lee owned Lee’s Conoco. He also worked as a car salesman for Burge & Sons Motors and drove school bus. His final career in Blue Hill before his retirement on February 26, 1999 was the 15 years as a Rural Carrier for the United States Postal Service.
After several years of enjoying retirement with trips to the casino and to visit children, Lee and Wanda moved to Waco NE to live with their oldest son Mike and his wife Angie in 2016. Lee had some health issues causing him to require nursing home care during the summer of 2017 and he spent the last several years at the Ridgewood Rehabilitation and Care Center in Seward NE.
Lee is proceeded in death by his parents, Herman J and Gladys (Van Dyke) Wright, his sister, Sarah Dragoo, Brother in Law Richard Dragoo, daughter Rhonda (Wright) Cox. He is survived by his wife, Wanda (Burge) Wright of Waco, NE, son Mike (Angie) Wright of Waco, NE, son Rod (Bev) Wright of Chappell, NE, son-in-law Steve Cox of Hastings NE, 11 Grandchildren and 18 Great grandchildren.
There will be a celebration of Lee’s life at the Blue Hill Community Center in Blue Hill NE on Wednesday May 22, 2019 from 9 a.m. to Noon. Coffee and rolls will be served. The family asks that memorials be sent to the Wounded Warrior program or the Josie Harper Hospice house in Omaha NE. There will be no viewing or visitation as his wishes were to be cremated. Private family burial will be in the Blue Hill Cemetery. Military rites will be conducted by A.L. Shirley Post #176 and the Navy Funeral Honors Team. Merten-Butler Mortuary, Blue Hill, Nebraska is in charge of arrangements.
Wounded Warrior Project
7020 A.C. Skinner Parkway, Suite 100, Jacksonville FL 32256
Jose Harper Hospice House