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Timothy R. Wright, Beth Steel supervisor

Timothy Wright
Timothy Wright

Timothy R. Wright, a retired Bethlehem Steel Corp. supervisor and Army veteran, died Oct. 5 at his Lochearn home of undetermined causes. He was 96.

The son of Willie Wright and Eliza Wright, Timothy Roosevelt Wright was born in Elizabethtown, N.C., and moved to Turners Station at an early age.

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He attended Carver Vocational-Technical High School, where he studied auto mechanics for two years, and then went to work at Bethlehem Steel Corp.'s Sparrows Point shipyard as a metal chipper.

World War II had ended in Europe when he enlisted in May 1945 in the Army, where he was a mechanic and a heavy-duty truck driver. He was discharged with the rank of private in 1946.

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He returned to Sparrows Point, where while working as a laborer, he attended night school to obtain his General Educational Development diploma. He also completed a Dale Carnegie course in self-improvement.

In the 1960s, when Bethlehem encouraged applications from minorities, Mr. Wright applied and was accepted as one of the first African-American supervisors at Sparrows Point.

"He was a tactful, diplomatic and an effective supervisor during a time of civil and racial discord," said a granddaughter, Stacie Wright of Lochearn. "He won the respect and cooperation of his workers resulting in his team being one of the highest producers."

Mr. Wright retired in 1986.

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In addition to his work, Mr. Wright was an accomplished "crooner," whose voice was "comparable to the likes of Billy Eckstine," his granddaughter said. He enjoyed singing in Pennsylvania Avenue social and night clubs.

In the 1980s, he joined Citizens Celebrating Baltimore, a choral production group.

Mr. Wright, who mastered the art of bird calling, was an inveterate fisherman who enjoyed taking his family on fishing trips on the Chesapeake Bay or going out in the wee hours with his fishing buddies, Ms. Wright said.

He also liked to bowl and was a member of several leagues. He regularly bowled several times a week at Colt Lanes/AMF Bowling Alley in Woodlawn.

He enjoyed preparing fish-fries for family and friends with fresh fish that he had caught. He was also known for his grilled ribs, Christmas dinners and oyster fritters that he prepared for an aunt who served them on Christmas Eve.

"Mellow, laid-back, chill, patient, a gentleman, peaceful, low-key, unassuming, wise, the strong-silent type, a heart of gold. All these can be used to describe his personality," said a daughter, Vonita L. Townes of Hagerstown. "He didn't like to rock the boat, arguing or dissension."

His wife of 65 years, the former Helena Sawyer Roberts, died this year.

Services are private.

In addition to his daughter and granddaughter, Mr. Wright is survived by a son, Craig E. Wright of Baltimore; another daughter, Gloria Tuggle Still of Lawnside, N.J.; two sisters, Ethel Mae Woodson and Odessa Quickley, both of Baltimore; nine other grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; and many great-great-grandchildren.

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