2016-04-22 / Obituaries

Robert Wright Jr.

Robert F. Wright Jr., DDS, 60, of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and Kennebunk, died April 10, 2016 at his home in Chapel Hill.

Robert was born Sept. 30, 1955 in Memphis, a son of Robert F. Wright, Sr. and Florence Lung Wright. Robert graduated from the University of Memphis with a bachelor of science degree in biology. He then went on to earn his DDS at the University of Tennessee dental school. He continued his post graduate education by completing a fellowship in prosthodontics at the LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans. Following that he completed a three-year fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, with a specialty in maxillofacial surgery.

Robert was devoted to academia and devoted his life to cultivating individuals that were interested in becoming board certified prosthodontists. Robert taught at Columbia University from 1986 until 2004, Harvard University School of Dental Medicine from 2004 until 2013 and at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 2013 until present.

Robert was an ardent college sports fan, especially football and basketball, and most especially loved his beloved Memphis Tigers. He loved to travel, learn about and experience different cultures. He enjoyed urban life, as one of his goals was never having to drive to work. Despite his love of city life, he was also happy to get home for summers in Maine on Gooch’s Beach in Kennebunk. He cherished the early mornings walking with the dogs, meeting people on the beach, and the evenings when the beach would quiet down and become his again. He was an ardent lover of all animals, especially the current ones, Kitty Carlisle and Gracesea, whom he adopted along with his partner, Bill, at the AWS dog walk on Kennebunk Beach five years ago.

Most importantly, Robert loved his family. He was a good son to wonderful parents, a devoted partner to Bill DeSaulnier, and a loving brother for his sister and Bill’s brothers and sister. He was intellectually curious and was gifted with a wonderful sense of humor which he mostly reserved for those to whom he felt closest.

Robert belonged to many associations including The American College of Prosthodontics, The Academy of Prosthodontics, The Greater NY Academy of Prosthodontics and the American Society of Dental Educators among others. He was often asked by these organizations and others to lecture and share his extensive knowledge of his specialty.

Robert is lovingly remembered by his life partner of 33 years, William P. DeSaulnier; his sister, Cynthia Newman and her husband, Paul, of Memphis; his sister-in-law, Donna DeSaulnier of Kennebunk; his brothers-in-law, Warren and his wife, Susan DeSaulnier, of Chelmsford, Massachusetts and Peter DeSaulnier of Roxbury, Massachusetts; and nephews, Dr. Justin Newman and his wife, Grace, of Memphis and Wesley Newman and his wife, Merry, of San Diego. He was also an uncle to Daniel and Shealeigh Fawcett, and their two children, Colton and Ila; Christopher and Bonnie Fawcett, and their daughter Addilyn; Amy and Kevin Conley and their children, Kevin, Jr., Daniel and Ryan; Kellian and Andrew Lawrenson and their children, Andrew II and Christine; and Julie Beck and Christopher Mattoon and their son, William.

A memorial service for Robert was held Saturday, April 16, 2016 at South Congregational Church, 2 North St., Kennebunkport.

Should friends choose, memorial donations in Robert’s memory are encouraged to: Dr. Robert F. Wright Memorial Scholarship Fund at The University of Memphis. Make checks payable to University of Memphis Foundation, Dept. 238, P.O. Box 1000, Memphis, TN 38148-0001.

To share a memory or leave a message of condolence, please visit Robert’s Book of Memories Page at www.bibberfuneral.com.

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