This obituary originally appeared on Memorial Funeral Home.

Peter Gwin Patton Wright, beloved husband, father and teacher passed away peacefully surrounded by family at home on August 18, 2020.

Peter leaves behind his wife of 59 years Betty Lou Wright, his son and daughter-in-law Jim and Alicia Wright, his daughter Krista Haskell and son-in-law Doug Poskitt and their children, Mariah, Grace, Jay and Colby.

A graduate of Lawrenceville School, class of 1954, Peter went on to pursue his bachelor’s and master’s degree in Theatre at Wesleyan University (BA, 1958 and MA, 1962).

He shared his love for theatre and his strengths as a gifted educator with countless students over his extensive career as a college professor. He taught in the theatre departments at Skidmore College, Wabash College and most recently Roger Williams University where he spent the past 32 years before his retirement in 2015.

Described by his students as a mentor, advisor, confidant and second father, his impact as a teacher was among his most significant accomplishments as well as a great source of pride and purpose for him.

Peter directed hundreds of plays throughout his extensive career. He was especially gifted in the art of bringing a script from the page and giving it meaningful life on the stage. Peter was also a talented writer and leaves behind 8 original plays, poetry and prayers. Never able to read a note of music, he could sit at a piano and delight those around him with his ability to play strictly by ear any song requested.

Peter was a committed member for over 30 years at Emmanuel Church in Newport, RI where he served on the vestry and was selected for the honor of ‘Angels Among Us’ for his service and commitment to the church. He especially found delight in and demonstrated passion for the organ music, hymns and anthems that enhanced each service.

Due to the current health crisis, a private service for burial will be held with immediate family. A memorial celebration for all those whose lives he touched will be planned at a future date. Please visit his web page via Memorial Funeral Home, 375 Broadway, Newport, RI to leave tributes and memories of Peter.

In lieu of flowers, a scholarship fund for promising theatre students at Roger Williams University has been set up in his name. Please send donations to the Peter Wright Memorial Fund, 247 Hilltop Drive, Portsmouth RI, 02871 or through Venmo @peterwrightmemorialfund

If you choose to use Venmo, please send an email with your contact information to so we may thank you for your gift.