The funeral for Ralph Edwin Wright-Peterson will be 3 p.m. Friday at Christ United Methodist Church in Rochester, with the Revs. Cindy Rassmussen and Jonathon R. Leonard co-officiating. A private burial service will be conducted in Oakwood Cemetery.
Dr. Wright-Peterson, 73, of 1311 Ninth St. S.W., former principal of John Marshall and Mayo high schools, died of leukemia Monday (July 17, 1995) at St. Mary's Medical Center in Duluth. He had been ill one year.
Born Feb. 23, 1922, in Metropolis, Ill., he attended public elementary and secondary schools and graduated from Gillespie Community High School in 1939. He received bachelor's, master's and doctor's degrees from Bradley University in 1943, 1950 and 1955, respectively. He married Lorraine Stalter on April 3, 1942, and they were later divorced. On Nov. 27, 1983, he married Virginia M. Peterson in Rochester. She survives.
Shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, he enlisted in the Army Reserves, was called to active duty in April 1943, served in the American and Pacific theaters and was an infantry rifle platoon leader with the 27th infantry division on Okinawa when World War II ended. He then was a civil education officer with the Niigata military government team during the Japanese occupation from 1946 to 1949. In 1988, a monument was dedicated near Niigata City, Japan, honoring his efforts to save a longtime Japanese homestead and turn it into a post-war cultural museum.
Before coming to Rochester, he held a number of positions, including summer school instructor at Bradley University, director of guidance and social studies teacher at Community High School in Farmington, Ill., administrative assistant and guidance director at Lincoln-Way Community High School in New Lenox, Ill., and guest instructor at Bradley University, Winona State College and Mankato State College. He joined the Rochester School District in 1958 as the first principal at John Marshall High School, a post he held continuously until 1966, except for a two-year period from 1978 to 1980 as director of secondary education in Rochester. In 1966, he transferred to Mayo High School as its first principal and served there until his retirement in 1986. He was involved in the opening of the two high schools and in the selection and recruitment of personnel for the growing schools. After retiring, he and his wife moved to Scottsdale, Ariz. His wife was assistant administrator at Mayo Clinic there.
Dr. Wright-Peterson was a member of Christ United Methodist Church, Rotary Club, YMCA and the Rochester, Minnesota and National education associations. He had served in a number of capacities in civic and professional organizations, including president of the Olmsted County Cancer Society, YMCA Board of Directors, officer of the Minnesota State High School League, secretary of the Rochester Foundation, president of the Rochester Area Church Council, and on the boards of Rochester Chemical Dependency Service and Rochester Methodist Hospital. Also, he was a charter member and first president of Beta Psi Chapter of Phi Delta Kappa and a charter member of the Zumbro Valley chapter, was a member of the Headmaster Association, and was a charter member and president of the Rochester Association for the Study of Transactional Analysis. He enjoyed sports, gardening, biking, fossil collecting, fishing, canoeing, public speaking, reading and writing for professional journals, including most recently for the Boundary Waters Journal.
In addition to his wife; survivors include four sons, Stephan Alan Wright and Douglas Randall Wright, both of Minneapolis, Jeffrey Eugene Wright of Red Wing and Timothy Lee Harbwright of Springfield, Mo.; three daughters, Alison Lorraine Ewing of Columbia, S.C., Cassadra Lou Wright of New York, and Kristina Elaine Wright-Peterson of Rochester; 10 grandchildren; two brothers, Harold Wright of Bethesda, Md., and Richard Wright of Peoria, Ill.; and two sisters, Lucille Shuflin of Cottonwood, Ariz., and Ruth Laurie of Lebanon, Ill. Friends may call from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday at Ranfranz Funeral Home.
Ranfranz Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Memorials are suggested to the Dr. Ralph E. Wright-Peterson Memorial Fund at Mayo High School.@et