Connie Violet (Gregg) Wright

Born: Tue., May 20, 1941
Died: Mon., Apr. 21, 2014


Funeral Service

11:00 AM Mon., Apr. 28, 2014
Location: Burns Mortuary


Interment following funeral service

Location: Olney Cemetery


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Connie Violet Wright, former Pendleton councilwoman and union leader, died early Monday, April 21, 2014, at St. Anthony Hospital, Pendleton. She was 72. Her husband, Joe Wright, was by her side.She was born May 20, 1941, in Salem, Ore., to Phillip and Ethel Gregg. She graduated from North Salem High School, and soon took a job creating sign information for the Oregon Highway Division (later, Oregon Department of Transportation).

She met Joseph Wright and they married Nov. 11, 1959, when he left U.S. naval service. The couple adopted their elder son, Philip, in early 1968 in Pendleton, and in 1969 in Salem she bore her other son, Tom. The family moved to Pendleton in 1972, and Joe and Connie never left.

Though she sure considered it. She hated Pendleton’s constant dust and missed the green Willamette Valley, where most of her family resided. But Pendleton grew to be her home.

And this was where she found her career calling. She took a job as office staff in 1986 for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. Connie studied U.S. labor history and law, and moved up to become a union representative and manager of the Pendleton AFSCME office. She negotiated labor contracts throughout Eastern Oregon, and her legacy remains in state prison contract language she helped develop. She retired from AFSCME in 2003.

Connie earned a reputation as a tough union negotiator, and she took her working-class attitudes with her for two consecutive terms on the Pendleton City Council, 1996-2004.

Connie, though, believed family came first. She opened her home to relatives who needed a place for a night or to get back on their feet. She delighted in watching her children and grandchildren playing youth sports. She also had a sense of humor. She told her sons before Pendleton High School football games, “Don’t embarrass me out there.”

She was a stay-at-home grandma in retirement. In her later years, she suffered from leukemia and succumbed to a pulmonary disease. Even as her health declined, she remained the mortar of her family.

Survivors include her husband, Joe, her sons and their families, her brother, Ron Gregg and his wife, Kay, of Keizer, Ore., and grandchildren, great grandchildren, nephews, nieces and cousins.

Her funeral services are Monday, April 28, at 11 a.m. at Burns Mortuary, 336 S.W. Dorion Ave., Pendleton. There also will be a short graveside service at Olney Cemetery, Pendleton.

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Condolence Booklet

Don and Judy LeGore
   Posted Mon April 21, 2014
So sorry for the loss of your wife. Will be thinking of you in the coming days. With each new day,May peace find a place in your heart.
With Deepest Sympathy,
Don and Judy

Dave Pedro
   Posted Mon April 21, 2014
So sorry to hear of Connie's passing. My first experience with her was knowing how passionate she was about her job and helping people. Later, it became apparent that she was a loving mother and grandmother.
She was always so friendly and nice and will be truly missed.
Special heartfelt sympathy to you folks.

Lawrence and Chris Steinman
   Posted Tue April 22, 2014
Joe and family sorry to hear the news of Connie. Our thoughts are with you at this time.

Larry Lehman
   Posted Tue April 22, 2014
Joe and Phil, am so sad for your lose. Connie was a good person and one that I could disagree with and yet be friends. I really enjoyed working with her. She always stood by her convictions and cared about her family and community.

Patricia Perry
   Posted Tue April 22, 2014
I was so sorry to learn of Connie's passing and send my condolence to Joe and family. I learned a lot from Connie when we worked together representing public employees through AFSCME. She inspired me with her firm stance and dedication to the protection of employee rights. I join you in grieving for the loss of her presence.

Bruce Campbell
   Posted Wed April 23, 2014
Fond memories of knowing and working with Connie. High respect for her commitment labor and the democratic process.

Shirley (Gregg) Robison
   Posted Thu April 24, 2014
Dear Joey and Family,
It was with great sorrow that I learned of Connie's passing. My thoughts and prayers are with you. There is so little that words can say to ease the pain. I would like to send this message hoping that it will be of some comfort.
A loved one is a treasure of the heart, and losing a loved one is like losing a piece of yourself. But the love that this person brought you did not leave, for the essence of the soul lingers. It cannot escape your heart, for it has been there forever. Cling to the memories and let them find their way to heal you. The love and laughter, the joy in the togetherness you shared, will make you strong. You will come to realize that your time together was meant to be and that you were blessed to have such a precious gift of love in your life. Keep your heart beating with the loving memories, and trust in your faith to guide you through. Know that, though life moves on, the beauty of love stays behind to surround and embrace you. Your loved one has left you that, to hold in your heart forever.

Robert J. Gates
   Posted Fri April 25, 2014
Joe and family, I am sorry to hear of Connie passing. Connie was a great help to us with contracts and grievences, I learned a lot from her and will miss her.God Bless. Robert J. Gates Morrow County Road Dept.

Jim Steiner
   Posted Fri April 25, 2014
Joe, Tom I was so very sad to hear that Connie passed away. She used to light up when she talked about her family in the office. I know how much she loved you all. Those of us who knew her through work knew how much she cared and fought for her extended Union Family. You will be in my thoughts and prayers and Connie will be missed by those of us whom she touched.

Karen Lani Cazier
   Posted Fri April 25, 2014
Joe & family:
So sorry to hear of Connie's passing. Sounds like she accomplished a lot during her time in Pendleton. I've been gone 24 years, but worked with you Joe at the Prison. Hope all else is going good for you. Your wonderful memories of Connie will hopefully help you through this time of grief.
With Sympathy

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