William Bayard “Bill” Wright of Jacksonville passed away unexpectedly at Cayuga Medical Center surrounded by family on Wednesday, January 18, 2023 at the age of 71.
Bill was a well-loved member of the community. He will be especially remembered for his devotion to the Scouts.
Bill was born in Washington, DC on August 2, 1951, a son of the late Robert Wright and Annie Laurie (nee Barnard) Wright. He grew up in Kensington, MD and had fond memories of spending two weeks every summer at Bethany Beach with his extended family. Bill graduated from Walter Johnson High School in 1969 and attended Catawba College in North Carolina, earning his Bachelor’s degree in accounting in 1973. He resided in Greensboro for a year working as an accountant before moving to Ithaca, where he took a position as an accountant for the Writing Workshop at Cornell. Bill eventually shifted his work to residential contracting, working with Pete Cooke before operating his own business as an independent contractor out of his home in Jacksonville.
Bill met his future wife in 1983 working late painting the house into which she had just moved. They fell in love and married in 1992. They had two very lovable children, Callie and Aidan. Bill’s life passion was his family.
Bill was an avid reader fascinated by history and many other subjects. We all know him as a phenomenal storyteller and conversationalist. He had a good ear and great appreciation for all kinds of music. Besides teasing others about their astrological signs, he loved to socialize and enjoyed movies. Bill was a runner and biker and participated in numerous 5 and 10k races.
Bill’s passion for Scouts started at age eight when his mother enrolled him in Cub Scouts. He remained active in Boy Scouts through high school. As his children grew he became a prominent part of Boy Scouts locally. He assumed the roles of Den Leader, Cub Master, Scout Master, Troop Committee Chair and Commissioner. Bill shared his love of the outdoors with the Scouts through camping, biking, downhill skiing and white-water rafting. As they hiked locally and in the Adirondacks, he was especially proud of his Scouts completing the high peaks of Trimount, Slide and Gothics. Bill travelled to Blair Atholl, Scotland in 2012 with his children for the Scout Jamborette, which is attended by Scouts from all over the world. He helped 20 Scouts attain the rank of Eagle Scout by encouraging and working alongside each one to ensure they completed their tasks. These Scouts have the utmost respect and admiration for Bill because of his devotion and patience. Most recently, Bill helped ensure Camp Barton would become a State Park by working diligently with state and local governments.
Above all, family and friends will miss Bill’s gregarious nature, sense of humor and his distinctive laugh that filled the room.
Bill is survived by his loving wife, Tamis Kaplan; two children, Callie and Aidan Kaplan-Wright; brother Robert (Dawn) Wright; sister Nancy (Patrick) Neel; three sisters in law, Stephanie, Kimberly (Drew Remaley)and Becky Kaplan; nieces and nephews Madison and Tyler Wright, Jordyn, Aidan, Chloe, and Evan Neel, Jason (Anna) Eagleston and their two children Jason and Andrew, his aunts Sue Wright and Jinx Barnard, and many cousins.
A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday January 28 at 1:00 at the Trumansburg Conservatory of Fine Arts, 5 McLallen Street, Trumansburg, NY. Please bring food or drink to share.
The family asks those who would like to make a contribution in Bill’s memory to kindly consider Trumansburg Cub Scout Pack 3 or Troop 613. Checks can be mailed to: Ellen Chase, 1004 Giles St., Ithaca, NY 14850.