Virgilio Zenon Wright, 62, of Rockledge, FL and formerly of Junction City, KS passed away in New Orleans, LA on December 5, 2017.
Visitation will be held Thursday, December 14, 2017, from 10:00 am. to 12:00 pm. at Penwell-Gabel Funeral Home at 203 N. Washington Street, Junction City, KS.
A Celebration of Life ceremony will follow at 12:00 pm.
Interment after the ceremony will be at the Kansas Veterans’ Cemetery, 5181 Wildcat Creek Road, Manhattan, KS.
Virgilio Zenon Wright was born in Panama City, Panama, December 26th, 1954 to Clarence Alexander Wright Kusak and Linnie Amelia Batiste Wright.
Virgilio immigrated to the United States from Panama in the early 1970s with the dream of joining the U.S. Army. During 26 years of military service, he worked as a logistician and Spanish interpreter. Virgilio also ran semi-professional track while stationed in Germany. He completed his military career at Fort Riley, Kansas in 2001, retiring at the rank of Sergeant First Class (SFC).
His military awards and medals include the: Army Commendation Medal (5th Award), Army Good Conduct Medal (7th Award), National Defense Service Medal, Noncommissioned Officer's Professional Development Ribbon with Numeral 3, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon (4th Award), Expert Marksmanship Qualification Badge with Rifle Bar, Driver and Mechanic Badge with Driver Bar, and Army Lapel Button.
After retiring from the military, Virgilio worked independently for several years as a certified Spanish interpreter with various court systems in Georgia and Kansas.
Virgilio loved God and people. He loved life and was known to liven up virtually any situation with a smile, a joke, or an uplifting, down-to-earth conversation. Virgilio was an excellent dancer, particularly in the salsa, merengue, and bachata styles. He loved to travel and spend time with family and friends.
He was known for his cooking. Anyone who was fortunate enough to savor Virgilio’s culinary gift was left craving a second helping, whether it was his savory, marinated barbecued chicken on the grill, arroz con pollo, or Panamanian sopa de marisco.
Virgilio enjoyed studying, discussing, and living his Christian faith. He also enjoyed learning about and discussing history, politics, and cultural issues. He loved spending time at the beach and observing nature and wildlife including alligators and tropical birds behind his home in Florida. Virgilio also loved encouraging and assisting military veterans and their families however he could.
Anyone who was blessed enough to know Virgilio will cherish memories of his warmth, genuine kindness, and his unconditional love and respect for others.
He is survived by his wife, Kimberly Janine Hamilton-Wright and their loving canine, Chuey, of Rockledge, Florida. He is also survived by his children, Michael Angel Wright, Nicole Lissette Wright (Nicholas), Christopher Virgilio Wright of Fayetteville, North Carolina, Brandon Allen Hamilton of Okeechobee, Florida, and two grandchildren, Alexandria Nichelle Dicker and Evan Lenox Dicker of Fayetteville, North Carolina. Other survivors include a brother, Clarence Arturo Wright and a sister, Mirta Watkins, both of Los Angeles, California; brothers, Marvin Wright, Jerry Maxwell and sister, Sonia Cumberbatch in Panama City, Panama; his mother-in-law, Deliliah E. Hamilton of Junction City, Kansas and his father-in-law, retired Army Major (MAJ) Larry D. Hamilton and wife Denise of Grapevine, Texas. He also leaves to carry his memory a host of nieces and nephews, cousins, and friends.
He will be loved eternally and missed tremendously.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in memory of Virgilio can be made to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, The Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma Research Foundation, or the Disabled American Veterans.
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