Longtime York funeral director Ike Wright dies at 65

adys@heraldonline.comJuly 22, 2013 

— Longtime York funeral home owner Isaac “Ike” Wright died early Monday morning after a long battle with cancer. He was 65.

Wright has run Wright Funeral Home, now in its 100th year, as his family’s business and the city’s oldest black-owned company.

He was far more than a businessman, though.

His generosity with the community and families, taking care of people of any economic and social station, was well-known not just in York, but throughout the region, said York Mayor Eddie Lee.

A tall man with an ever-present smile, Lee said, Wright was larger than life.

“Ike Wright’s compassion, his generosity, his way of dealing with people his whole life, showed so many people the way to be a friend,” Lee said.

Wright was a lifelong advocate for York, generous with community and volunteer organizations all his life.

The Rev. Anthony Johnson, former NAACP president and pastor at Mount Zion Baptist Church, who worked for Wright for the past decade at the funeral home, said York has lost an icon.

“Ike Wright truly was a great man,” he said.

York has lost a leader who helped shape the city, said Charles Johnson, a longtime friend.

“Ike Wright was a fixture, a legend, in York,” Johnson said. “He will be missed by so many people.”

Wright’s daughter, Bridget, who works in the family business, said arrangements for the funeral are pending.

Through the past four decades, Ike Wright was always generous with others in the funeral business, said Kenny Bratton of Bratton Funeral Home in York.

“Any time I ever needed anything, Ike Wright was there for me or anyone else,” Bratton said. “York has lost a man who loved his city, and his city loved him. He was not just well known, he was well respected.”

Wright was a longtime member of the Western York County branch of the NAACP and took an active, leadership role in the politics and social concerns that affected people.

“He took me under his wing and was a supporter when I went into politics,” said state Rep. John King, D-Rock Hill, a second-generation funeral director himself. “Our families were always very close and supported each other. Many of us who knew him well called him ‘Ikey.’

“Ikey in his business had the highest standards, and in his life he had the highest standards. He will be greatly missed.”

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