COLUMN: Remembering Kay Wright


Kay Wright died over the weekend, four days after her birthday.

Those in the sports community will likely remember her for her volunteer efforts with the Atlantic City Marathon or running the hospitality rooms for the Prime Events basketball events with her daughter, Linda.

She was one of those people who could not do enough for others. In the hospitality rooms she kept the food hot and the soft drinks cold. But there was more.

When she found out what pasta John Pierantozzi liked, she’d set some aside. When she discovered John Bruno loved oranges, she saved some for him at the end of the weekend. She always had Diet Cokes for Mike McGarry. And there were always Butterscotch Krimpets for Dennis Smith. After making a fruit salad one day and seeing how much everybody liked it, she made it all the time. There are lots of stories like that.

Kay loved Holy Spirit. Both her daughters graduated from there – Linda going on to become a highly successful nurse and Barbara accomplishing great things in the financial industry and politics.

Kay was also a big basketball fan. She loved Chris Ford. And she felt the same way about Dennis Horner (as you can see in the photo, below), who is the grandson of her best friend.

But Kay did so much more.

She worked for decades, like everybody else, to make a good life for her family in that great house with the big yard on Shore Road near the Pleasantville-Northfield border. Her late husband, Bill, had landed at Normandy during one of the World War II battles that turned the war around.

When she realized that Pleasantville did not have a memorial to its servicemen, she created one. She was the driving force behind the building of Veteran’s Memorial Park, right across the street from the old Pleasantville High School location. It is an attractive tribute to the veterans from all branches of the armed services. And the American Legion honored her a few years ago for that effort and much more.

Kay was also active within the Miss America Pageant. She was once introduced in the audience from the stage during a night of competition in the Boardwalk Hall. Kay has been going to the Miss America Pageant since Bert Parks was a boy. She even went to a couple of them in Las Vegas. She would attend the rehearsals with her daughters and was as well prepared for the nightly shows as some of the state representatives.

For decades she also donated her time and talent to the Miss Atlantic County Pageant and got the Pleasantville Yacht Club to select a representative to sponsor each year in the county competition. She even judged pageants all over the state.

Both of her daughters – Linda and Barbara – have followed her lead and have spent thousands of volunteer hours helping wherever they were needed.

Those who frequented the basketball hospitality rooms in Ocean City, Holy Spirit, Ventnor and Cherry Hill East – the coaches, officials, media and others – will always remember the kindness and consideration Kay showed them.

But there are people like that all over – people who had the good fortune to inter-act with her and to experience her passion for taking care of others and helping them.

There are so many of us that memories of her will go on forever.

Kay Wright was 94.

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