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Elma Lenore "Pug" Wright

Updated: Mar 8, 2023


URBANDALE – Pug Wright passed on February 27, 2023. Pug was born on March 2, 1929 to Jessie and Boyd Smith in Chanute, Kansas. Her nickname came from her brother Bernard when she was born. Pug went to Chanute High School and on to a nursing degree at the University of Kansas. Pug and Richard were married in 1953 and moved to San Antonio, Texas. With Richard’s agronomy career, they moved to Urbandale in 1970, developing deep connections to the community over the last 53 years. They attended St. Andrews Episcopal Church, where Pug was a member of the Altar Guild, and the Orange Bucket Hunger Ministry. Both were volunteers for Every Step (previously Hospice of Central Iowa). Pug was a volunteer for 25 years at Kavanaugh House. She and Richard stayed connected to Chanute with deep family roots and attended many high school reunions. They lived in San Antonio 1953-1970, and when they moved to Urbandale brought their love of Mexican food with them. Both were avid gardeners and traveled extensively with a love for cruises. They were Holland America “Mariners” enjoying cruises to Alaska, Hawaii, the Caribbean, Bermuda and the Panama Canal. Pug, an avid reader, was known for welcoming new neighbors with plates of cookies, participating in the Beaverdale Fall Festival Parade, and providing to other local charities.


Pug has had the love and support of the entire St. Andrews community, many close friends and neighbors. Care givers at Home Instead and Every Step are recognized for their respect and compassion.


Pug is survived by children, Amy (Joe) Sullivan, and Sara (Michael) Sievers, niece Elaine Brown, and numerous grand and great grand nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her husband, Richard N. Wright, her parents, a sister, Helen McGuire, and brothers, Cecil and Bernard Smith.


A service of Holy Communion will be held at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church at 10:00, Sunday, March 12th (5720 Urbandale Ave., Des Moines, IA 50310). Interment will be in the St. Andrew's Memory Garden after the service. A reception will be held in St. Andrew’s fellowship hall to celebrate Pug’s life. Memorial contributions may be made to the Animal Rescue League of Iowa*.

*By Mail: Animal Rescue League of Iowa, Inc.

Attn: Donations/In Memory of Pug Wright

5452 NE 22nd Street

Des Moines, IA 50313-2528.


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