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Wayne Mitchell Wright

July 12, 1934 - March 04, 2023
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Brandon Solarez

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Wayne Mitchell Wright

July 12, 1934 - March 04, 2023

Wayne Mitchell Wright, 88, passed away on March 4, 2023, in Marana, Arizona.  He was born to Carl and Edith Wright on July 12, 1934, in Sanford, Maine.

Wayne was valedictorian of Sanford High School’s class of 1952.  He completed his undergraduate work at Bowdoin College in Maine in 1956, and his doctorate in Applied Physics at Harvard University in 1961.   In 1962, Wayne began his career as an educator at Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, Michigan.  He taught physics for 37 years and served as the Physics Department Chairman for 24 years until his retirement in 1999. 

Wayne’s area of expertise was nonlinear acoustics, physical acoustics, sound propagation in the air, and Opto-acoustics.  He was an active fellow of the Acoustical Society of America, serving as Secretary from 1977 to 1986.  Wayne was always eager to learn and took advantage of every opportunity to broaden his knowledge.  He conducted many sabbatical research projects in prestigious research labs and consulted for the Applied Research Labs (ARL) at the University of Texas at Austin for nearly 40 years.

After retiring from Kalamazoo College, Wayne and his wife, Mary, moved to Georgetown, Texas, where he continued to consult part-time at ARL. In addition, they spent summers in Ogunquit, Maine, and enjoyed traveling domestically and abroad.   Wayne was a devoted husband to Mary until her passing in 2014. 

Wayne was passionate about raising his four children and will be remembered for spending time with them in the canoe, gardening, camping, and on road trips.  During his retirement, he kept active by playing tennis, square dancing, and spending time with his grandchildren.

Wayne is survived by his four children, Catherine Wright (Ben Arditi, Marana, AZ), Peter Wright (Diane Durbeck, Sunnyvale, CA), Laura Wright (Mike Pierce, North Haven, CT), and Daniel Wright (Anna McDole Wright, San Jose, CA); his four grandchildren, Melissa, Emily, Matthew, and Carl; and sister, Eileen Atkins (Hattiesburg, MS).  

A private service will be held in Maine later this year. He will be remembered for his passion for learning, his dedication to his family, and his contributions to the field of physics and education.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Habitat for Humanity or your local food bank.  

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Condolences 3

C Wu
about 1 year ago

C Wu Dr. Wright, you were my most respected professor at Kalamazoo College. I learnt so much from you, not only in physics and mathematics from your courses, but also in attitudes towards scientific research and life. Hing and I were planning on visiting you at least one more time in Arizona upon learning of your illness. Sadly it is all too late now. Rest In Peace, my dear mentor and friend. Cathy, our deepest condolences to you and your family.
about 1 year ago

Elena Millan Chacon Wayne it was a pleasure getting to know you, I wish I would of got to know you when you would still line dance…you’re probably happily dancing with your wife now.❤️❤️ Cathy my condolences to you and your family, I will miss Wayne dearly, may he rest in peace🙏🏼
about 1 year ago

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