Richard Wright

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Richard L. Wright, 81, of Belleville, IL, born December 12, 1936, in Belleville, IL, died Friday, May 25, 2018, at Freeburg Care Center.

Mr. Wright was the longtime owner and restorer of the historic Lincoln Theatre in Belleville, IL. He served in the United States Air Force Reserves from 1960 to 1966.  He was past president of Belleville Center.  Mr. Wright was a member of the Belleville Chamber of Commerce, Belleville Main Street, and the American Legion. He was presented life membership to the St. Louis Theatre Organ Society, to the Belleville Parent Teacher Association, and presented with the Chamber of Commerce Commitment to Community Award by the Belleville Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Wright also served on the Belleville Public Library Board, and the Board of Belleville Tourism. He served his community on multiple city committees.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Vernon O. and Ophelia M., nee Layoff, Wright.

Surviving are his wife of almost 58 years, Betty, nee Forness, Wright, whom he married on July 4, 1960,

two daughters, Sandy (Dave) Schoenborn of Belleville, IL, and Kathy (Mike) Going of Belleville, IL;
four grandchildren, Alex Schoenborn, Sydney Schoenborn, Morgan Going of Honolulu, HI, and Mason Going;
and a cousin, Wayne (Lucinda) Wright, and their son, Kevin, of Temple City, CA.

Memorials may be made to Belleville Family Hospice or to the Belleville Area Humane Society. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at

Visitation:  Friends may visit from 9 to 10 a.m. Saturday, June 2, 2018, at the Lincoln Theatre, Belleville, IL.

Funeral:  Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 2, 2018, at the Lincoln Theatre, Belleville, IL.



10 Comments on Richard Wright

laura simunich said : Guest Report Jun 06, 2018 at 4:39 AM

Betty, I am sorry I did not have more time to visit with you Saturday. I stayed for the service, which was so lovely. I will miss seeing you at FCC, and hope you can now get some well deserved rest. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • belleville
  • il.
Shelley (Crass) Funck said : Guest Report May 31, 2018 at 2:12 PM

Dear Mrs. Wright, Kathy, Sandy and your whole family, My heart goes out to you in your time of sorrow. No words can describe how sorry I am for you loss. I have so many fond memories but the ones that stand out the most are being at your house down the basement hanging out and every time we would want to watch a movie and no matter what Mr. Wright was doing he would always come down stairs to set up the movie projector for us. It most always was King Kong! Being at your lake house floating on the lake and playing out door games was so much fun also. There are many more fond memories such as going to the Lincoln Theater and also helping out at the concession stand which Mr. Wright was the most patient man ever! There are many more......just too many to list. Mr. Wright was such a kind and gentle man and will be missed dearly. Those we love don't go away, they walk beside us everyday. Sharing in your sorrow with love and friendship, Shelley (Crass) Funck

  • Myrtle Beach
  • South Carolina
Tom and Jeanne Wobbe said : Guest Report May 30, 2018 at 9:32 PM

Our prayers are with the family and we are sorry that we will be unable to attend the visitation because of being out of town. Over the years, both of us have had the opportunity to work with Richard and to call him our friend. He was a dedicated supporter of Downtown Belleville and will be missed.

  • Belleville
  • IL
Liana Ables said : Guest Report May 30, 2018 at 6:07 PM

Please except our condolences, everyone at the Tuesday yoga class is holding you in our thoughts and. Prayers.

  • Belleville
  • Illinois
Janet M Thrasher said : Guest Report May 29, 2018 at 6:00 PM

So sorry Betty to read this today in the paper. I have not been down to see Auntie since last Weds., so did not know. I am sure he is in a better place now and no more pain. Hope you can find some peace now too. I will miss seeing you there. If you ever want to talk or go to lunch sometime call me. 618-539-3356. Jan (Maurer) Thrasher,

  • Freeburg
  • IL
Brandon. Wendy, Alex, Nick and Lexi McGraw said : Guest Report May 29, 2018 at 2:04 AM

Our families prayers go out to the entire Wright family. I remember all the stories my dad (Earl McGraw) told me when he worked for Richard running theaters. My dad always said he was the fairest man he has ever worked for and certainly always the best dressed. It's been my pleasure knowing Richard for years as well through Sandy and Dave. His spirit will always be alive in our house as stories are told to my kids from my dad. Simply put Richard was an amazing man. All our love - The Entire McGraw Family.

  • Belleville
  • IL
Dave & Donna Valentine said : Guest Report May 28, 2018 at 3:32 PM

Our thoughts and Prayers go out to the family. Richard was a great person and friend and will be missed. Had good times at the lake and the theater and dinning out.

  • belleville
  • Il
PAT ND ELMER BACH said : Guest Report May 27, 2018 at 6:07 PM


  • IL.
JoAnne & Ron Sehr said : Guest Report May 27, 2018 at 1:27 AM

Please know you are in our thoughts and prayers

  • Freeburg
  • Illinois
Larry and Bonnie Krupp said : Guest Report May 26, 2018 at 10:13 PM

Our hearts and prayers go out to the family. Richard was great friend as is Betty. For Theatre Organs enthusiasts the Lincoln Theatre is holy ground and all because of Richard’s vision and determination. He will be sorely missed.

  • Collinsville
  • Illinois

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