Harold Eugene Wright, 84, longtime Zionsville resident and businessman, passed away Friday, May 18, at his home, surrounded by his family.
He was born the youngest of seven children to the late Elmer A. and Flora Mae (Peneton) Wright in Lafayette, on Nov. 6, 1927.
After graduating from Lafayette Jefferson High School, he pursued his career in men’s retail. He married the love of his life, Carolee Babbs, of Newton, Ill. on March 1, 1953.
Harold and Carolee and their two children, Brenda and Brian, made Zionsville their home in 1963 when he began working at the local men’s retail store and soon thereafter, took over the ownership of the business which became known as Harold’s Haberdashery. “Harolds” became a Zionsville landmark, where you could not only purchase quality clothing and shoes, but were certain to hear a joke from its engaging proprietor.
Harold did not know a stranger, and could often be seen on Main Street, talking to other merchants and to the many customers and friends who greatly loved and respected him. He was an avid golfer and a long-time guitar player who was known for his quick wit, good sense of humor, dignified charm and penchant for writing folksy poetry that became a staple of local newspaper ads for the clothing store.
Harold helped initiate the 1960s drive to restore Main Street buildings, which led to Zionsville’s trademark “Village” theme. Harold was active in the Lions Club, Charles Frank Masonic Lodge, Scottish Rite and was past president of the Zionsville Chamber of Commerce. He was a member of Zionsville Christian Church. He was selected as Zionsville’s Town Crier in 1998. He was a loving husband, father and grandfather and enjoyed attending events that involved his grandchildren.
He will be greatly missed by the many people he touched throughout his years in the community.
Harold is survived by his wife, Carolee Wright; daughter Brenda (Clint) Duncan; son Brian (Christina) Wright; grandchildren Laura (David) Kirby, Emily (Rob) Amos, Andrew (Kennedy) Geyer, Brandon and Benjamin Wright. He is also survived by his great-grandchildren Phoenyx, Gabrielle, Elijah, London, Isabella, Caleb and Cole. Additionally, he is survived by his sister, Arlene Hoagland, and brother, Warren (Edna) Wright.
He was preceded in death by two sisters and two brothers.
Friends may call from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 24, at Flanner and Buchanan-Zionsville. A service celebrating Harold’s life and faith will begin at 6 p.m. In lieu of flowers, Harold’s family requests that contributions be made to the American Heart Association, 6100 W. 96th St., Suite 200, Indianapolis, 46278 or Zionsville Christian Church. Online condolences may be made at www.flannerbuchanan.com.