Obituary: Charles W. Wright (1942-2024)

Charles W. Wright, 81, of Newport, Rhode Island, died on February 14, 2024 at Rhode Island Hospital after a short illness. He was the husband of Anne (Dutra) Wright.

Born in Newport, RI on April 8, 1942, He was the son of the late Frederick and Edith (Closson) Wright. A lifelong Newporter, he graduated from Rogers High School and entered the US Air Force for 3 years. Upon his return home, he began his career in plumbing, and earned Master licenses for plumbing and pipefitting.

Over his career, he shared his skills as an instructor, teacher, inspector, and mentor. His own businesses included Island Plumbing and Wright’s Bath Showroom. He was instrumental in the development of the Rogers Vocational Programs, taught at NE Tech for many years, and helped the RI DOL develop statewide standards for quality and safety. Charlie met nearly every builder and contractor on the island, serving as the plumbing inspector for all three municipalities on the island.

Many know Charlie as one of the original Polar Bears, for over 50 years he has been a big part of the Polar Bear plunge at First Beach, and was recognized for his endurance at the 2023 plunge. The beach was a special place for him, and he volunteered many hours on the Beach Committee for the City of Newport. He also enjoyed sailing and was a founding member of the “Goat Island Yacht Club” as well as a life member of the Newport Elks Lodge.

Charlie is survived by his wife Anne (Dutra) Wright, and his children Jennifer Wright Trudell and her husband Jim of Franklin, NH, and Jeffrey Wright of Oklahoma; two sisters, Velma Ann Parsonage of Middletown and Frances DeSilvia of Riverside, CA, and his beloved grandchildren, Alex, Danielle, Tyler, and Ava, several nieces and nephews, and his first great-grandchild Ludovica.

Sadly, he was preceded in death by his daughter Lisa Wright in September, 2023.

Visiting hours will be held on Saturday, February 24, 2024 from 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM at Memorial Funeral Home, 375 Broadway, Newport. The funeral Service will follow at 1:30 PM in the funeral home. Burial will be private.

Donations can be made in his memory and to honor his daughter Lisa, to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network

Online Tribute at




Like Newport Buzz? We depend on the generosity of readers like you who support us, to help with our mission to keep you informed and entertained with local, independent news and content. We truly appreciate your trust and support!