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Published: 6/6/2013

LeRoy Wright [1933-2013]

Erie Township official 'stuck to rules'

BY MARK ZABORNEY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

ERIE -- LeRoy Wright, a former Erie Township supervisor who retired from a career in law enforcement, died Tuesday in Sunset House, Toledo. He was 79.

He was in failing health after a fall last month, his son Karl said.

Mr. Wright was appointed Erie Township supervisor, his first political office, by the township board at the end of 1984. He was among six candidates seeking to replace the previous supervisor, who resigned to take another job.

"I wanted to get more involved in the township and keep it a nice place to live," Mr. Wright told The Blade in 1984.

He and his wife, Charlotte, were well-known in the township. He was a former assistant fire chief. She was Erie branch librarian of the Monroe County Library System.

Township residents found him to be fair, said Jim Armstrong, a longtime friend.

"He stuck to the rules," Mr. Armstrong said. "It didn't make a difference if you were friend or foe."

Worsening vision caused Mr. Wright to resign in 1990.

"He would have done more if he could have, but his health wouldn't allow it," his son said.

Mr. Wright retired in September, 1984, from the Michigan State Police. He workedfor nearly 30 years in motor carrier enforcement -- for the Michigan Public Service Commission and, after his duties were transferred, for the state police. While on road patrol he weighed trucks using the portable scales he carried in his squad car.

"He had a reputation with all the truck drivers," his son said. "He was very strict and firm. It was just his thing. He was a rules guy, and he liked enforcing the law."

At 6-feet, 6-inches tall, he left an impression even on big men in big rigs.

"He didn't get too much grief from guys. He'd stand and be eye level in their cabs," his son said.

He worked in Jackson and Hudson, Mich., and the Erie state police post. He rose through the ranks -- sergeant, lieutenant, inspector. For several years, he worked in Lansing.

"He would drive up on Monday morning and drive home on Friday night," his son said. "It wasn't an easy life. He was living out of a hotel."

He was a former cubmaster of Erie Cub Scout Pack 99.

He was born June 24, 1933, in Vinson, Okla., to Janie and B.B. Wright. He grew up in Albuquerque, N.M. He was a stateside veteran of the Army.

He and his wife were trophy-winning members of the Black Hawk Motorcycle Club in Temperance. 

The couple married Aug. 21, 1954. His wife died Jan. 12, 2013.

Surviving are his sons, Karl and Tim Wright, and two grandsons.

A service by Erie VFW Post 3925 is scheduled for 4 p.m. Saturday followed by a celebration of life at Merkle Funeral Service, Erie, where friends will gather starting at noon.

The family suggests tributes to Hospice of Northwest Ohio or to Living Independence For Everyone, which is a Meals on Wheels program in Monroe County.

Contact Mark Zaborney at: mzaborney@theblade.com or 419-724-6182.


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