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Dr. Hastings Wright Obituary

Dr. Hastings K. Wright
Dr. Hastings K. Wright

August 28, 1928 - April 1, 2004
Born in Boston MA
Resided in Branford, CT


Dr. Hastings K. Wright, 75, of Branford, CT, a retired member of Yale Medical School faculty and a prominent surgeon passed away on April 1, 2004. He is survived by his wife Nancy Howell Wright; sons, Mark K. Wright of Darien, CT, Kenneth M. Wright of Lexington, MA, Donald S. Wright of Branford; daughter Barbara Redmond of Winnetka, IL, and eight grandchildren, Douglas K. Wright, Catherine C. Wright, Caroline L. Wright, Christopher Redmond, Lauren Redmond, William Redmond, Mariel A. Terceiro, and Daniel J. Terceiro.

Dr. Wright was born in Boston on August 28, 1928, son of the late Donald M. and Lucia Durand Wright.

Dr. Wright who had a long and distinguished career, was educated at Harvard University. He received his undergraduate degree from Harvard in 1950 and his medical degree from Harvard Medical School in 1954. Following medical school, Dr. Wright honorably served his country as a captain in the United States Army. He was posted in the South pacific on the Island of Eniwetok, where he witnessed the first H-Bomb explosion. Dr. Wright performed his intership and residency at Case Western University in Cleveland.

Dr. Wright joined the faculty of the Yale University Medical School in 1966 and worked there as a highly respected professor and surgeon until his retirement in 1996. During his tenure as a full professor at Yale, he held a number of positions at the medical school, including acting chief and chief of general surgery and the vice chairman of the Department of Surgery.

The thread that ran through his career was to serve others. Dr. Wright eschewed private practice and instead devoted his professional life to helping patients from all walks of life by performing surgery at Yale New Haven Hospital, by teaching and training young surgeons and performing research and writing in medical science.

His contributions to medical science were many. Early in his career as a resident at Case Western Reserve University Hospital, Dr. Wright assisted in the first successfll defribulation of a human patient. Years later, life came full circle when Dr. Wright's life was saved by defribulation when he was suffering a heart attack. In 1977 Dr. Wright helped establish a medical school in Shiraz, Iran shortly before the Iranian Revolution and the fall of the Shah of Iran.

Dr. Wright authored or co-authored nearly 100 medical articles and monographs including several published in the New England Journal of Medecine. Dr. Wright authored or co-authored several books, including ''Complications of GI Surgery'' and contributed chapters to many other medical works.

For many years, he served as the Assistant Chief Editor of Archives of Surgery and the Surgical Section Editor for Primary Care. Dr. Wright was a member of the Committee of Pre and Post-Operative Care of the American College of Surgeons and multiple othe national medical committees including for the Society of University Surgeons, the National Cancer Institute, the National Medical Library, and the Association of American Medical Collegs. Dr. Wright was a member of many surgical societies including, among others, the American Surgical Association and the New England Surgical Society.

With all of his professional achievements, Dr. Wright considered his family and his children as his life's major work. A long-time member of the Appalachian Mountain Club, he was an avid hiker, and, while he was able, he lead his family on annual treks of the White Mountains of New Hampshire. He took them lobstering in a small row boat on Long Island Sound. He most enjoyed spending time with family and friends at his home in Branford and at his summer home in Francestown, NH. Perhaps, the day he loved best was Labor Day, where each year he and his family members combined their wit and ingenuity to enter a float in Francestown's Annual Labor Day Parade. Their goal was to win the prize for the most humorous float, and they often succeeded.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.

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