George Wright Tributes

This is a compilation of email messages that were sent from team members and friends following George's passing.
 
 
Ilsebill Wolfe -
Your sad news literally just took my breath away. I am so sorry to hear
about George - I can't quite picture Runner's High without him. He was
such a superb athlete and seemed to be such a kind human being. In his
e-mails he came across as the backbone of Barbara's own fight with cancer
and he always sounded so supportive and positive. We will all miss him -
but Barbara's loss is immeasurable.
Please accept my deepest sympathy!
 
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Bob Rice -
The George I knew was a quiet, mild mannered Superman. He seemed so low key until it was time to compete and then he was a fierce competitor. Some of us ran laps with George last Tuesday night and Thom Lacie just sold George and Barbara some shoes yesterday and we are all asking each other how can it possibly be that George is gone. The thought of how devastating this is for Barbara is very disturbing.
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Sinead and Wayne Foran -
We are just devastated to hear this sad news. Please let us know how we can help
with service arrangements and any assistance Barbara may need.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Barbara and her family as well as all
the TRHers who are feeling such a terrible loss.
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Debbie Morrow -
Oh my gosh, that is all I can say!
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Annette Barnett -
What a shock this is!
I was just thinking about Barbara today, and hoping that all is going in a positive direction for her, and George.
 
Barbara has all my concern, and positive thoughts right now.

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Steve & Helen Moreno -
I am shocked and so deeply saddened.  I had the opportunity to speak with
both George and Barbara on Friday as I bumped into them at the 2nd St store. 
George was a quite and very unassuming person but his actions spoke
volumes.  I am so grateful to have known such a great person.  He will be
surely missed by all of us.  Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to
Barbara and her family.
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Gallena Quinalty -
Disbelief and shock were understatement, when I first
read your e-mail just a few hours ago. My thoughts and
prayers go out to Barbara and her family. Please let
me know if there is anything I do to help.
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Leslie Caldera -
I went on-line at home tonight to send in this race report,
and learned of  George Wright's passing today. I am shocked
and depressed, especially about the reality that Barbara
must face.
My family is praying for the repose of George's soul and for
strength and fortitude for Barbara. Please keep us all
informed of anything Barbara and her family need.
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Jeff Tribole -
This is another sad and tragic loss for TRH and so many others.  George
Wright was not only an Ironman, but one of the most respected people and coaches I
have ever met.  Humble, compassionate, confident, happy, focused, always
willing to help... words don't do justice to the man that coached Long Beach Poly
to State meet after State meet in cross country or finished with the elite
"young guns" at the Ironman.  Yet, more important than all of that was his love
for his wife and family. 

While many TRH members were working out at a Signal Hill last summer, I was
lucky enough to sit and chat about life with George on several Tuesday
evenings.  Barbara, his wife, had just been through a battery of tests and George was
very concerned.  His eyes sparkled as he spoke of her strength and you just
knew how proud he always was of her.  He shared stories about their plans as
well as coaching and training ideas.  He told some funny stories about his most
recent triathlon (nearly getting stuck in the mud) challenge, training for the
Ironman, and how Barbara and his family were doing.  He had a great sense of
humor and his very infectious laugh always made me laugh as well.  George could
laugh at a funny joke and laughed even harder at himself as he tried to
downplay his accomplishments as he often did.

Last Oct. George completed the Ironman once again, and finished second in his
age group.  He told me that next year, he was going to "get that guy" and
proceeded to lay out his plan.  Too long in the transition areas, better
training, more speed work, a tri suit, and George, as always, was confident yet humble
about everything.  Then he laughed.

Many may not realize how great of a coach George was.  His Long Beach Poly
Cross Country teams were not only consistently rated in the top of the state,
they were also rated very high at the national level.  He took his team to North
Carolina to race in the elite cross country national high school races, and
always performed well there and at the Calif. state meet...so well in fact, one
year, he had to shave his head because his time did much better than he
anticipated at the state cross country meet.  A picture made the local paper and
the smile on his face showed that it was worth every strand.  He was always
proud of his teams.

We have all lost a very special person... and I know that I will miss him.

My prayers for Barbara, his family, and all that were lucky enough to know
him.....
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Wim & Mieke Sijen -
I just don,t know what to say.   We are sad we are in disbelieve  and we hope that  Barbara will be O.K. I know this will be a hard time for her but all of our prayers and good thoughts are with her
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Tommy Robles -
I actually heard the news at 2:30PM why I was on a 911
call here in Long Beach. My Firefighter engineer asked
me if I new a guy by the name of George Wright. He had
received a phone call from a friend of his that was on
the ride with George. I did not know George all that
well but I admired him for his athletic ability's and
accomplishments. He is a true inspiration and will be
missed. My condolences to his family.
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Anne-Marie & Roy Sharp -
This summer at 1/2 Vineman on July 31, 2005 I first met George.  I had seen he and Barbara at other triathlons but had never introduced myself to either of them.  I was the 1st age group to go off and George was probably the last.  As I was heading back from the 1/2 marathon turn around, George was speeding down the road in his Runner's High singlet.  I yelled, "Go Runner's High." At the end of the race, I introduced myself to George and congratulated him on his 1st place finish.  As most of you know, this is the race that took him to the Ironman World Championship on October 15, 2005. 
 
Roy met George shortly after he had completed IM Hawaii at one of the Tuesday night track workouts.  Roy's eyes lit up at this IM hero and a stud of an athlete at 62 years young (Roy hopes to follow in George's footsteps and race in Hawaii some day). 
 
We again had the pleasure of seeing Barbara and George this week at track.  Roy greeted George with a, "Hi there, Mr. Hawaii." George kind of shook his head and grinned.  God speed IM George.  We knew you a short while, but are sure glad we did! We are shocked, saddened and just can't believe that you are no longer here.
 
May Barbara, family and friends find peace and love during these difficult days ahead!
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 was informed of the sad news about George Wright and have done something on our front page on it - please keep us informed on service information and details about those types of items please
 
tremendous loss - great gentleman and person
very sad----
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David Goforth -
I am terribly saddened by this news.............no words can express the
sorrow. My thoughts are with his family and especially Barbara.
Although I did not know George very well, I did know of him and his athletic
abilities and his unwavering care and concern for Barbara. This is an awful
loss for all, especially Barbara. My thoughts and prayers go out to Barbara
and her family.
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John T. & Sandye Clare -
We saw George running almost every week either in El Dorado Park or on the bike trail as we rode our tandem down to Seal Beach.  We can't believe he could be gone.  It was obvious that he was Barbara's rock.  Our thoughts and prayers are with her and with the family.
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Laura Chaides -
I am in shock myself. This year has been a challenge for all us.
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Wendell & Carol Keith -

Regretfully I did not know George as well as I knew Barbara, but knowing the fine person Barbara is, George must have been a Saint. The written messages he contributed to this Club newsletter about Barbara’s medical condition revealed a person who expressed himself concisely, took the difficult issues “head on”, and he was exceedingly positive.  Our loss is Heavens gain, and Barbara will continue to be in Carol's and my prayers.

 

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Paul Kaplan -
For someone who is rarely at a loss for words, I have been speechless to say the least these past ten days.
I'm hoping Barbara, who will miss her devoted George very much, can muster up the strength to continue the hard fight to conquer her battle with cancer. Barbara, Michael, Kelly and John, and of course the sweet grandbabies, must get thru this time of grief. I will pray endlessly for the departed and the living as well. It's incredible how fragile life is. We all must savor every moment of every day.
George, may you rest in peace, and to Mrs. Coach, commit yourself to your beautiful family, which will bring you many years of happiness and love. You have many friends who will reward you with the support you richly deserve.
Respectfully and with love,

Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, and thanks, too for providing us with Dan Empfield's wonderful words.
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Randy Smith -
It is so tragic on the loss of George Wright. Few words can comfort his close friends and Barbara. I wish I had some insights to these matters but I don't. I believe one copes with it any way you can.
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Alice DeLeon -
Shock is too mild, I am devastated.
My fellow members have very eloquently expressed my feelings. I know Barb and only knew George in the context of his support of her. While they both showed me their daughter’s wedding pictures, and I became impressed with how much love and support he was giving Barbara. I remarked at what a great husband he was. What a loss for her and for the youth he so generously gave his time to!
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Mike Morris -
The news concerning George's death has left me without words. Unfortunately, I didn't know George that well, but he was part of the family we all share through our involvement in the team. We ran together a few times over the years, but not on a regular basis. I was always in awe of George's abilities as an athlete. Having read of George's devotion to Barbara in her battle with cancer, I experienced the great humility of this man. Reading the postings of others who knew George better than I gave me a much better perspective of this man. George will be missed by all who knew him, but his legacy will continue to inspire us all.
My prayers go out to his family and friends.

peace and all good,
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Paul Browne -

This is so difficult to write. George and I had a very special brotherly bond as loving caregivers to our cancer fighting wives. There is no more special bond than that, sharing love, support, experiences, information and mutual respect as we dealt with our wives life challenge. In this sense, I do indeed feel like I have lost a brother. I hope and pray that GOD gives strength to George and Barbara's family so they can continue the care for Barbara that George so lovingly provided.

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Judith Fischer -

Astonishing news. I only knew of George as a disciplined triathlete, fierce competitor, and gallant husband to Barbara as she endures her cancer treatment. Our collective arms go around her now.
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Barbara Byrum -
I'm just sick about George Wright's passing. He was a major role model for many of us recreational athletes, and such a great guy. It's hard not to wonder what God's master plan is for the Wrights. I am praying several times a day for Him to give Barbara her health back and the strength to get through the next few weeks.
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Nicole Maddams -
I can not believe he is gone!! Coach Wright was a wonderful man and a great coach!! I am in such shock!! My thoughts and prayers are with his family.
 

 

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