Harold Bell Wright or more widely known as Plummy Wright, went home to be with the Lord and his loving wife Mary Ann and other ancestors on January 29, 2022. He was surrounded by his loving family. Harold bravely faced congestive heart failure and worked to remain active right up to the end of his life.
Harold was a member of the Klamath Tribes of Southern Oregon, born at the Klamath Agency on June 25, 1933, he said he was a summer baby. He grew up on the Klamath Indian Reservation. He was raised by his loving parents Ruby White Skeen Wright and his father Harold Jackson Wright, who raised Harold and his siblings on their ranches, first on Crooked Creek in the Fort Klamath Valley and then moved to the Modoc Point ranch located at a former stagecoach area. Harold grew up ranching, playing with friends and cousins and riding across the Klamath Indian Reservation with his father and grandfather. He loved riding horseback and he taught his five children to ride cross country, to help others with herding horses or cattle. Harold liked the Jackson Creek area up on the Klamath Marsh the best because he said that is where they stayed in the summer and part of the fall when his dad, a branding inspector for the Klamath Tribes, was helping to tend to the Klamath Tribal Cattle. Harold recalled how him, and his brother helped their dad ride for cattle at very early ages, both were about 7 and 8 years of age.
Harold was an Army Veteran, stationed at Fort Ord California. He was in the Army Infantry.
Harold had many interests throughout his life; he was a champion rodeo rough stock and bull rider for many years. He said he started riding at 10 years of age, and his last year of riding in rodeos was at 54 years of age and he won the Comeback Cowboy award from the Oregon Indian Rodeo Association in that year. He went to school at Chiloquin Elementary and later to Stewart Indian Boarding School in Fallon, Nevada. He returned to Chiloquin and started playing basketball, trained as a boxer, and returned to working on ranches and work in local mills. He worked as a logger mostly, falling timber and choker setting for local logging companies.
Harold was passionate about the Klamath Tribes and became involved with the governing Tribal Council, when he was elected as a Member at Large in the 1970s and 1980s. His concern was always for the animals, fish, and land. He worked tirelessly as a volunteer and he became a member of the Klamath Indian Game Commission, to help work on securing the hunting and fishing rights, per the treaty right between the US Government and the The Klamath Tribes. He worked to speak out to legislators of State and Federal governments and to their agency representatives. Harold helped develop the original Game Code for the Klamath Tribes. He worked in the 1990s on the Culture and Heritage Committee and Elders Committee for the Klamath Tribes. He was serving as the President of the Wilson Cemetery Committee up till the time of his death.
Harold believed in the tribal members, and he spoke to others about Tribal history, the tribal members who had passed on, spoke on tribal traditions and the culture he grew up in as a young boy. He taught his family how to gather berries, plums, roots and medicines, foot hunt, and fish. His passion every year was to have a family float and participate in tribal parades, where his entries won many trophies. He raised his family to ride horses, powwow, parade, break horses, gather traditional foods, and to prepare foods. He would tell stories of ranching, sports, beadwork crafting, tribal people of yesteryear, how the Klamath Tribe’s government operated years ago, and rodeos. Young people and older people enjoyed his story telling, and many remember him starting his stories with “by golly”. Harold and his wife both liked to participate in programs such as “Restoration of the Spirit”, put on by the Klamath Tribes Behavioral Health Program. He and his wife shared their experiences of living on the former Reservation of the Klamath Tribes. He also was a speaker on documentaries for the c’waam (sucker fish) and on Termination of the Klamath Tribes.
Harold is survived by his children, GeorGene Wright-Nelson, Tamie Wright, Harold Wright, Aaron Wright, and 24 Grandchildren, 33 Great Grandchildren, numerous nieces/nephews, cousins and friends.
He is preceded in death by his spouse of 66 years Mary Ann Jackson Wright, parents Ruby White Skeen Wright and Harold Jackson Wright, brother Joseph “Dode” Wright, Judith Wright Barney, June Wright Campagna Spears, brothers-in-law Charles Barney, Jim Campagna, Donald Spears, grandfather Harry Fletcher Wright, grandmother Rose Ball Wright Kerrigan, grandmother Anna Hutchinson White Skeen and grandfathers Dick White, Dave Crockett Skeen, granddaughters Aimee Frances Erlei Souza, Theresa Erlei, daughter-in-law Loretta J. Wright and great niece Janet Gallagher. He was a descendant of Klamath Chief Chemult and was of Klamath/Modoc/Pit River Heritage.
The family would like to thank Robert “Bob” Mayhew for all his help and support for his Uncle Plummy. We would like to acknowledge the staff of the High Desert Hospice organization, The Chiloquin Ambulance staff, the staff of the Klamath Tribes Health and Family Service Medical Clinic, Pharmacy, Behavioral Health, The Tribal Administration Social Services, Members Benefits and Community Services for their support over these past years. We also wish to extend our thanks to all the family members and friends who gave emotional support and encouragement.
Harold’s viewing will be on February 5, 2022 at O’Hair’s Funeral Home at 515 Pine St. In Klamath Falls, OR from 4 pm to 6 pm.
The family will announce a Celebration of Life memorial service for a date to be determined in April 2022. We are taking these precautions due to the recent COVID-19 variant outbreak, the family wishes to keep others from any infection harms. Cards and letters can be mailed to PO Box 750, Chiloquin, OR 97624.