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Ruth Wright

August 3, 2018
Emmetsburg News

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for 98-year old Ruth Wright of Des Moines on Wednesday, August 8, 2018, at 10:30 a.m. at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, 2926 Beaver Avenue, Des Moines, IA.Visitation will be August 7, 2018 from 3 6 p.m. at Dunn's Funeral Home, 2121 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, IA; prayers and reflections will be at 5 p.m. Ruth McCoy Wright died on July 24, 2018 at Calvin Community in Des Moines, Iowa.

The 11th of 17 children, Ruth was born on September 10, 1919, in Emmetsburg, Iowa to James and Mary (Hand) McCoy. A graduate of Emmetsburg High School, in September 1941 she received her diploma as a registered nurse from Saint Anthony Hospital School of Nursing, Carroll, Iowa. In 1942, she joined the U.S. Army Nurse Corps, and was assigned to the 164th General Hospital, serving in England, Northern Ireland, and France ("I served under Patton") during World War II ("The Big One!"). After the D-Day invasion, her unit was deployed to Normandy. When the war ended, she was stationed stateside in the Army Reserves and served during the Korean War. She received an honorable discharge in 1951.

In 1951, Ruth married James E. Wright, Jr., and lived in South Bend, Indiana, where she worked as a nurse. In 1960, they moved to Des Moines, where Ruth resided in Beaverdale for more than 60 years and was an active parishioner at Holy Trinity Catholic Church. Ruth continued nursing at several hospitals and served more than 25 years at the Iowa Jewish Senior Life Center. Her knowledge and skills encouraged and inspired many in her profession throughout her long career. Ruth retired as a registered nurse at age78.

Ruth was proud of her Irish heritage, her hometown, and her family. Her prodigious memory encompassed all and sundry. She loved sports, and often 3 or 4 different games were on two televisions and two radios, and she could tell you the scores for each. She had a passion for politics and current affairs, providing running commentary on the local, state, or national political scene - (and those involved (or not) - was legendary and epic. A conversation with Ruth about anything or everything - was always filled with laughter. With her fast wit, bright smile, faith-filled spirit ("Offer it up!"), and upbeat nature, she brought joy, color, and fun into the lives of her family and all those who knew her.

Ruth is survived by two daughters, Jamie (Peter) Coniglio and Julie (Jerald) Nelson, and one son, James E. (Donella) Wright, III; four grandchildren Kristin Nelson, Anne Nelson, Andrew (Elyse) Wright, and Alexandra (David) Rodriguez; one great-granddaughter, Faye Wright; and many nieces, nephews and great-nieces and nephews. She also leaves her kind and supportive parish family, as well as the caring and affectionate staff and residents of Calvin Community.

She was preceded in death by her husband James E. Wright, Jr., her parents, and her 16 siblings: sisters Margaret McCoy, Catherine Hermansen, Marie Hastings, Betty Kelly and brothers John, Robert, William, Leo, Joseph, Peter, Gene, Walter, Richard, Gerald, James Jr., and Father Alfred McCoy.

Memorials may be directed to the Holy Trinity Catholic Church Foundation or the Calvin Community Foundation. Online condolences are welcome at

and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.



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