30-Year F.C. Resident Elizabeth ‘Betty’ Wright Dies

Elizabeth Truman Wright (known locally as “Betty”), 94, died on May 15, 2008. She moved to Rehoboth Beach in 1975 from Falls Church, Virginia, after her retirement as an Associate Professor of English at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.


Elizabeth Wright was born in Chardon, Ohio, February 3, 1914. She was a child of the Depression and worked from the time she was in high school. She worked her way through Allegheny College and graduated in 1939. She married Robert Wright in 1940. The couple celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary on April 20, 2008. After moving to the Washington area in 1942, she resumed her education and her working career as soon as her two young sons were old enough to permit it. She earned a Masters Degree in Foreign Affairs from George Washington University, and subsequently a second Masters Degree in Linguistics from the University of Michigan.

Her Masters thesis at George Washington was a study of the original handwritten letters and despatches of Nicholas Trist, the American diplomat who negotiated the peace treaty after the Mexican War in 1848. She also wrote a study of the London Economic Conference of 1933 with documentation and testimony from Professor Edward (“Ted”) Acheson, a participant at the conference and the brother of Secretary of State Dean Acheson.

Her graduate work in linguistics at Michigan was related to her specialty of teaching English composition to foreign students. In addition to her teaching she was the first woman appointed an academic dean at George Washington: Dean of the University Division (Non-Degree Students).

After moving to Rehoboth Beach she enjoyed organizing frequent trips to the British Isles, the coast of Norway, Australia and New Zealand, and across the United States and Canada. During this time she cooperated with the English actor, Donald Sinden, in writing the history of her mother’s family, the Sindens, in Sussex County, England, the United States, and Canada.

She overcame congenital back problems and repeated bouts with cancer. Her guiding motto to herself and others was always, “Just rise above it.”

Elizabeth Wright is survived by her husband, Robert; her sons, Michael and Anthony; her sister, Mary Daugherty (98); and six grandchildren: Ellen Mcguyer, Matthew, Christopher, James, Caitlin and Terence. Her devoted cat was named Luna. Betty was the heart of the family.

An informal gathering of family and friends will be arranged soon.

In lieu of flowers the family suggests memorial contributions to the Rehoboth Art League.