Communication Builds Our Community

Debra Smith Wright, 1953-2020

Debra Smith Wright, a beloved educator and mother, whose legacy is the countless minds she opened and hearts she touched, transitioned on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. She was 67.

Born Feb. 21, 1953 to Eddie Lowe Smith and Essie Mae Jackson, Debra graduated from Lakeland High School in 1970 and Florida Memorial College in 1973. She went on to earn her master's and specialist in education leadership from Rollins College in 1984.

Debra began her long and influential career in education as an elementary music teacher. She went on to serve as a principal, and in 2007, she retired as an education consultant. Even after her retirement, her dedication to the field endured, and she served as a Polk County School Board member.

Debra married Clint Wright in 1974. He preceded her on April 20, 2007. Debra has a host of relatives including her daughters Debra Wright Hudson (Marrio DeVaughn Hudson) and Ashlee Maree Wright, grand-daughter Victoria Maree Haggins, sisters Velma Colvin (deceased) Edna Lawrence and Diane Robinson.

Visitation is scheduled for 3-6 p.m.Wednesday, Oct. 21 at Williams Funeral Home in Bartow. The graveside memorial will take place at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 22, at Oak Hill Burial Park.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to The Clint Wright Foundation, which will provide scholarships to students enrolled at Florida Memorial University. Donations can be mailed to P.O. Box 1486, Eagle Lake, Florida 33839.


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