Sep 6, 2011

From Jim Dean on the late Elizabeth D. Writght


"The office of the chief medical examiner said that Wright's body is currently "on hold" in a city mortuary in Brooklyn because she apparently had no financial assets, and will likely be eventually buried in Potter's Field."
Dear folks, 

The contact email on her website has been bouncing back for some time now, so I had kind of assumed the worst. But I was surprised to finally hear she had died only a week after Michael Santomauro included the first photo of her I had ever seen.
I was sent a copy of her last blog communication that she was going into hospice. The very private lady stayed that way to the end.
In trying to write something on her as a retrospective all I had to work with was her "Issues and Views" archive, which hopefully has been saved on the service that stores all the old web stuff. All of her fans have read all her material. I ventured to see if I could find out who the private Ms Wright was. But began hitting dead ends.
All the online obit material repeated that no one had actually ever met her, even when in NY City and attempting too. 
Left only with her website to track her down I started with the Booker T. Washington Society with their director, a retired Army officer in Vermont...and surprise...he had never met her either, despite their awarding a Booker T. writing awared annually. But he did have a NY City name for me with whom I had a call today.
First up was her semi nome de plume Elizabeth D. Writght was actually Doris Elizabeth Wright. This gentleman had actually met her five times, meeting first a Booker.T ceremony in the 70's with his son attending and where he first met Wright. But he had no idea what kind of work that she did. He was able to pass me on a closer contact who had been helping her in her last days so I am trying to contact him to learn more.
But I did google her real name and found a Brooklyn obit and sadly learned her body is still being held for claim and will be heading to Potter's field. It seems her breast cancer had cleaned her funds out and she was estranged from her original family. Maybe we might be able to do something now that we know. With all the folks that she published since she began "Issues and Views" it seems we might all be able to get her buried somewhere.
This first obit mentioned that her neighbors did not view her as a recluse, so they might not have known about her writing and kept the two lives separate.

I will try to see what the holding period is on her remains and talk to her last helper to see if he has been in touch with any relatives. It could be that nothing was done because she simply did not care...or her illness and lack of close friends just left everything up in the air.
But I thought I would give you the news as to where I am so far. Let's see if we can do a little better than potters field for the lady, even if she did not care...she touched a lot of lives.
I think the best tribute for her is to preserve her work in a fitting place  in an updated website where it is not buried and lost.
"But Cartrell Gore, 59, of Flatbush, a high school teacher and local politician, was friends with Wright for 20 years. He said she was not a recluse, and that neighbors knew her as "a nice old lady." "She grew up on welfare [in Virginia]," Gore said. "Her siblings decided to stay on welfare, and she decided to work for a living. So because of that when she left for college, she never looked back or contacted her family after that.""The office of the chief medical examiner said that Wright's body is currently "on hold" in a city mortuary in Brooklyn because she apparently had no financial assets, and will likely be eventually buried in Potter's Field."
Jim Dean


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Now FREE to watch all 91 minutes: "Defamation," from Israeli filmmaker Yoav Shamir. LINK:

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