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Ellen Jean Wright, 79

by | Apr 11, 2024 | Obituaries

Ellen Jean Wright

Ellen Jean Wright

With sadness, love and respect, we announce the passing of Ellen Jean (O’Connell) Wright on April 11 after a long and spirited struggle with multi-system complications. The youngest of seven children, Ellen was born July 18, 1944, to William and Elizabeth O’Connell of Jamaica Plain and had fond memories of her childhood. With a twinkle in her eye, she called herself “a thorn in the sides” of her older siblings as they grew up in their four-room city apartment. During those years in Jamaica Plain and later in Brighton, Ellen learned to love to dance and grew up to enjoy the music of Elvis Presley and Neil Diamond, both of whom she saw in concert. Her love of music and dancing had her on stage both as a dancer and a chorus member in church musical productions in the Framingham/Sudbury area during the 1970s and 1980s.

Ellen embarked on a decades-long career in the field of accounting, which involved business travel to Japan, China and England, as well as various locations around the United States. It was during this period of her life that she also served as a caregiver for her ailing parents at home, and met and married her husband, George Wright of Hopkinton. They settled into married life with George tending their mini-farm and Ellen continuing her accounting work at various businesses, some of which included Dunkin’ Donuts franchises, Rohm and Haas manufacturing, and the Town of Hopkinton Senior Center. Sadly, early in their marriage, George was given a terminal diagnosis, and when his health declined, Ellen determinedly reprised her role of caregiver, while also continuing to support the household. Despite the challenges, they spent their time laughing, loving and enjoying what time they had together, which often included escaping to Twin River or Foxwoods to try their luck.

In the years following George’s death, Ellen moved to the senior housing community in the center of Hopkinton and worked in finance and as an event volunteer at the Hopkinton Senior Center. After officially retiring from full-time work in finance, but still being a young, active senior citizen who very much wanted to keep busy, she took a job as a waitress in the dining rooms of Golden Pond skilled nursing facility, where she once again dipped into caregiving as she got to know, befriend and watch over “her” patients. When a shoulder injury put an end to carrying trays, Ellen took on her most recent job of working in the cafeteria of Hopkinton Middle School, where she ran the cash register and took a special interest in assisting students with special needs. Though her own health was diminishing at this time, she popped on her caregiver’s hat again to assist relatives in the Vorderer family as they navigated the dementia needs of her brother-in-law, Fred. All throughout her busy life with work and caring for others, Ellen also struggled with frequent and serious medical issues herself, but she routinely summoned all her Irish moxie and rarely allowed herself to be slowed by those issues until that was no longer possible. In the immediate period following her death, family members and friends — and even members of the medical community who cared for Ellen through the years — recounted story after story of Ellen’s strength, determination and wicked wit. This wit — verbal chucks on the chin with a dose of sarcasm and delivered with a sly smile and lots of love — were Ellen’s hallmark and will be remembered and sorely missed by all who knew and loved her.

In addition to being predeceased by her husband, George, and siblings Billy, John, Frank and Susan, Ellen is survived by siblings Georgia Vorderer and Don O’Connell, stepsons Tim Wright (Debbie), Gregory Wright (Bonnie) and Kevin Wright (Maureen), eight grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren, two godchildren and a plethora of beloved nieces and nephews. She also had special places in her heart for niece and caregiver Lori Morton and longtime friend Mary Carey. It would be remiss not to mention a very special thank you to her longtime visiting nurse and dear friend, Spencer Peppin, who helped Ellen navigate all the conflicting medical challenges in later years.

According to Ellen’s wishes, there will be no wake, but a rite of Christian burial Mass will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, April 17, at St. John the Evangelist in Hopkinton. Burial will follow in Mt. Auburn Cemetery, Hopkinton. Arrangements are under the care of the Chesmore Funeral Home of Hopkinton. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in Ellen’s honor to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital (stjude.org) or the Hopkinton Senior Center Veterans Breakfast Fund, 28 Mayhew Street, Hopkinton, MA 01748.

Obituaries are submissions, typically from funeral homes, that are not subject to the same level of editorial oversight as the rest of the Hopkinton Independent. Obituaries may be edited for grammatical and factual mistakes and clarifications and shortened for space considerations.

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