A Time to Be Born: motivational, articulate, reflective and youth-oriented are just a few words that describe Mary Stevens Wright. She was the devoted wife of Dr. C.T. Wright for 45 blissful years. Mary was born on Dec. 8, 1944 in LaGrange, Ga. to the parentage of the late Levester Stevens and the late Catherine Crowley Stevens.
A Time to Be Taught: During her youth, she lived and was educated in LaGrange and Atlanta, Ga. Mary was a beautiful person, inside and out. She was crowned queen numerous times, including being named Miss East Depot High School. She graduated from the East Depot High School in LaGrange, Ga. Mary emulated her love for Christ and accepted Him as her Lord and Savior by joining the Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church in Five Points, Ala. Whenever Mary relocated due to her husband’s career opportunities she made sure to unite with a church. She has held membership in churches in Social Circle, Ga.; Cheney, Wash.; Talladega, Ala.; Philadelphia, Pa.; Miami, Fla., and Phoenix.
With a continued thirst for knowledge and perseverance, she became an alumna of the Morris Brown College, a private, Christian and historically black liberal arts college in Atlanta, Ga. Later, Mary did some additional studies at the Miami Dade College and Florida International University, both of which are in Miami, Fla.
A Time to Love: On Aug. 9, 1974, Mary was joined in holy matrimony with Dr. C.T. Wright. She and Dr. Wright had an opportunity to live in several places including Atlanta, Ga.; Boston, Mass.; Social Circle, Ga.; Cheney, Wash.; Talladega, Ala.; Cheyney, Pa. (where she was the First Lady during her husband’s tenure as president of Cheyney University); Miami, Fla.; Scottsdale and Fountain Hills.
A Time to Serve: It was shortly after their marriage that Mary became very active in her husband’s work. She was also an active participant in education, religion, community, and civic activities, to name a few. One professional organization in which she was involved is The Links, Incorporated, a professional women’s organization. The group’s primary purpose is to develop and implement programs designed to enhance the quality of living for children and their families in the area of the arts, health, education, international affairs, and social service. She worked with this organization for 40 years collectively in Spokane, Wash.; Philadelphia, Pa.; Miami, Fla., and Phoenix.
In the recent years, she and her husband founded The Light of Hope Institute, which has had a profound impact on social justice and human rights issues around the world as well as, establishing the Christian Teaching Wisdom (CTW) Ministry. Mary was also instrumental in the National Day of Prayer Organization, as well as several other local, state, and national groups. She had the opportunity to travel with her husband on the local, national, and international level. Additionally, they had the privilege of being the guests of six U.S. presidents, numerous ambassadors, several prominent religious leaders and high level bishops. Over the years Mary was listed in several editions and versions of Who’s Who in America.
Overall, Mary lived a service-oriented life that reflected her mantra, which was adopted from the words of Mahalia Jackson:
“If I can help somebody as I pass along,
“If I can cheer somebody with a word or song,
“If I can show somebody that he is traveling wrong, then my living shall not be in vain.”
A Time to Transition: Mary’s work on this side of Jordan is done. She received a call on Saturday, May 2 – an offer she couldn’t refuse. It was for an appointment from which she will not be returning. This assignment came with a huge sign-on bonus – a reunion with family and friends that she has not seen in a long time. Mary now joins her father (Levester Stevens), mother (Catherine Crowley Stevens), mother-in-law (Carrie Mae Enus Wright), brother (Leroy Stevens), sister (Betty Tukes), niece (Dr. Valencia Coty-Barker), grandmother-in-law (Ovella Enus), aunt (Victoria Johnson), and uncle (Rev. Dr. Willie Enus). You see, the angels were waiting at heaven’s gate with arms open wide as she arrived.
A Time to Be Loved: Mary was a wife, sister, leader, mentor, confidant and friend. Her loving memories will forever be cherished by all who knew her. To know Mary was also to love her. She is survived by her beloved husband, Dr. C.T. Wright; two sisters, Catherine Wilson and Martha Stevens, both of LaGrange, Ga.; and one brother, Booker T. Stevens of Orlando, Fla.
Other relatives that will forever cherish her memory include; a goddaughter, Jaida Jackson Campbell of Tempe, Ariz., Ollie James of Social Circle, Ga., James (Claudette) Enus of Las Vegas, Nev.,; Delores Jackson of St. Petersburg, Fla., Dr. Gus ( Dr. Olivet) Robinson and Olivia Robinson, all of Greensboro, Ga., Pearlena Jackson of Chandler, Ariz. the former Executive Director to Dr. C.T. Wright and her daughters, Jamesha Jackson of Chandler, Ariz., and Quita Jackson of Phoenix, Ariz., and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
A viewing will be held on Friday, May 29, 2020 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Preston Funeral Home, 3800 South Central Avenue, Phoenix, AZ. Unfortunately, the family is unable to memorialize Mary at this time due to COVID-19. A memorial service will be planned for Mrs. Wright at a later date. Also, in lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Dr. C.T. Wright Scholarship Fund at Arizona State University (West Campus) P.O. Box 12881, Scottsdale, AZ 85267.