In Memory of Judge George Searcy Wright
February 12, 2020
Rosen Harwood is greatly saddened by the passing of one of its founding members, Judge George S. Wright.
Judge George Searcy Wright, CDR. USNR (Ret.), age 94, died peacefully at home on Monday, February 10, 2020, surrounded by his family. Judge Wright was a Tuscaloosa native, graduating from Tuscaloosa High School in 1942 after which he attended The University of Alabama where he was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity before joining the United States Navy in 1944. He attended the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis from which he graduated with a B.S. in Engineering in 1948. During his 10 years of active Naval service, he served onboard the Attack Cargo Ship, USS Alshain (AKA 55) in the Pacific, the Aircraft Carrier USS Mindoro (CVE 120) in the Atlantic, the Destroyer USS Waldron (DD 699) in the Atlantic and, most notably, the Battleship USS Missouri (BB 63) during the Korean War (1950 – 51), on which he served as a navigation officer and participated in the Inchon Landing and the Hung Nam Evacuation. He continued service in the Naval Reserve (Intelligence Branch) and retired as a Commander.
After active duty, Judge Wright graduated from The University of Alabama School of Law (Order of the Coif). He practiced law in Tuscaloosa for 25 years and was a founding member of the firm Rosen, Wright and Harwood. He was appointed to the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Alabama in 1961 and served as its Chief Bankruptcy Judge for 10 years for a total of 34 years on the bench. He retired in 1995.
He was a member of The American Bar Association, Alabama State Bar, and the Tuscaloosa County Bar Association where he served as its President. He was a 50 year member of the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges and served on the Board of Governors representing all Judges and Lawyers in the 11th Circuit (Georgia, Florida, and Alabama). The Alabama State Bar awarded him the Eugene Carter Medallion as a Judge, an award given to recognize a former public servant for fair and honest balancing of the governmental interest against the rights of individuals. The Tuscaloosa Bar Association named him as a Pillar of the Bar. He taught bankruptcy law as an Adjunct Professor at The University of Alabama School of Law from 1973 – 1996.
Judge Wright was married to Stella Rowan Wellborn in 1952 for 35 years. During their marriage, they had many happy adventures with family and friends. He loved to sail and, in addition to many sailing trips to the Caribbean, he most loved the Millwood II, his sailboat moored in Pensacola. He had a fun-loving spirit, enjoyed having a cocktail watching sunsets over the Black Warrior River and Perdido Key. He was often heard to say "Ole" and was known to be the first and last on the dance floor.
Judge Wright was known for helping others and it reflected in his commitment as a father, a friend, a mentor and advocate. He touched the lives of so many people, professionally and personally. His attitude influenced those around him and reflected his quiet, stoic, optimism, his tenacity and grit. He worked hard to balance his professional and personal lives.
His favorite place in the world was Millwood, his hunting camp in Hale County where he enjoyed spending time with his family and friends. An avid outdoorsman and hunter, he also founded The Millwood Hunting Club. Under his stewardship, Millwood was designated as a Treasure Forest and was also entered on the National Register of Historic Places.
Active for 60 plus years in Christ Episcopal Church, Tuscaloosa, he served on the Vestry as Senior Warden, Junior Warden, and as a Lay Eucharist Minister for some 20 years.
Judge Wright's life will be celebrated on Thursday, February 13, 2020, at 2:00 p.m. at Christ Episcopal Church followed by a reception afterward in Randall Hall.
In lieu of flowers, his family has requested that donations be made to the Reuben H. Wright Memorial Scholarship, University of Alabama School of Law, Box 870382, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487 or to Christ Episcopal Church Foundation, 605 Lurleen B. Wallace Blvd. N, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401.