Barbara Jean Cook Wright

Published 11:10 am Thursday, April 27, 2023

Barbara Jean Cook Wright passed peacefully from this world Tuesday, April 11, 2023 at Middlesboro Nursing and Rehabilitation Facility.  The daughter of the late C. H. Cook and Loree Simmons Cook, Barbara entered this world August 5, 1933 in Knoxville, TN.

After graduating from Middlesboro High School in 1951, Barbara left to attend nursing school in Nashville, TN.  And, it was during that time she met and married her husband of 54 years, Charles Eldon “Don” Wright, Jr.

In 1962, She and Don moved to Arcadia, CA where they lived for nearly 30 years.  During that time, after a trip to the Smithsonian in Washington, DC, Barbara discovered and developed her passion for the Japanese art of Bonsai.  Over the years of perfecting her skills, she managed to give life to over 100 beautiful Bonsai trees.

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After retiring, she and Don moved to Daphne, AL bringing with them her 125 “babies”.  Once settling into their new home and during the remaining years together, the two of them enjoyed many adventures to different parts of the world, each, of which, bringing detailed renditions to share with family and friends in pure Barbara fashion.

In 2011, after the death of Don, Barbara moved back to Middlesboro to be near family.  Once again her beloved Bonsai found a new home along with her.  And once again, after settling in, she became very active with her hobbies of interest, sharing them, herself, and her stories along the way.  Anyone who ever had that privilege was truly blessed.  The love she gave so freely will be cherished by many.

In addition to her parents and his husband, Barbara was preceded in death by her brother, J.D. Cook; sister-in-law, Bobbie Cook and nephew, Steven C. Cook.

She is survived by nephew, David (Laura) Cook, Middlesboro, KY; niece, Lori (Don) Blair, Gainesville, GA; grandniece, Erin (Rob) Bell, Louisville, KY; grandnephew, Alex (Jessica) Cook, Middlesboro, KY; grandnephew, Daniel (Kalee) Blair, Bogart, GA; great grandnieces: Lauren and Kate Bell, Louisville, KY; great grandnephews: Grayson and Sawyer Cook, Middlesboro, KY; and special cousins: Katherine Cook Thomas, Knoxville, TN and Ann Simmons Parks, Florence, SC.

We, the family, would like to extend our gratitude to the staff of the nursing home for their loving care of Barbara over the past year.  We also wish to thank Bluegrass Hospice Care for the guidance they offered us during her last days with us.

The family will receive friends from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, April 15, 2023 at Shumate Funeral Home Chapel.  Graveside service will follow at Middlesboro Cemetery with Pastor Zachary Bay officiating.  Family and friends will serve as pallbearers.

In lieu of flowers, the family request you make donations in memory of Barbara to First Baptist Church, P O Box 839, Middlesboro, KY  40965.

Shumate Funeral Home is honored to serve the Family of Barbara Wright and is entrusted with all arrangements.

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