John Aloysius Wright

November 3, 1962 - May 31, 2024

John Aloysius Wright, III, 61, of Gladstone, VA, passed away at his home on May 31, 2024, from Acute Myeloid Leukemia and Myeloid Sarcoma. John was born to Mary Theresa Wright (Rose) and John A. Wright, Jr. in Washington, D.C., and lived most of his early years in Northern Virginia. He graduated from Robinson High School in 1981, and James Madison University in 1985, with a Bachelor Degree in Music Composition. John studied classical guitar at JMU, but rock and punk music were always his preference. He played guitar in several DC punk bands in the 80s and 90s, including Animal Logic, Party Akimbo and Dick Army. John loved writing songs and performing, playing in bars and clubs around D.C. and the region.
It was at JMU, Freshman year, first semester, first class on Monday morning, that he met Kristin, a shy flute major, who would eventually become his wife and loving companion for 42 years. Together they lived out their dreams of owning land, animals, gardening and being stewards of historic homes.
John loved growing vegetables, selling them at farmer’s markets and through his CSA, when he lived in Midland, VA. He was once featured in an article in the Washington Post for his tomatoes, and people showed up at the local Post Office looking for the famous tomato guy of Midland. John loved nature. He knew plants, and could identify any tree or wildflower. He knew bugs and wildlife and could tell you which caterpillar would decimate a bean plant or fruit tree, and which would develop into a beautiful pollinator for the garden. He could identify snakes and lizards, and he could spot a bald eagle from a mile away.
John loved old stuff. He sold antiques and vintage pieces in several shops, and online. He especially enjoyed working at an auction house in Culpeper, where he got to see and research many unusual items, and he loved finding curiosities in the wild. For John, each piece held a story and he loved to share those stories with anyone that would listen. John loved historic homes, and he and Kris were lucky to have lived in three unique, historic homes over the years. John loved caring for those properties, restoring and painting each of them himself, and filling them with antiques. John welcomed visitors to those homes, and he was always eager to share his latest project around the house, whatever was growing in the greenhouse, a mushroom log, or flowers in the garden.
In 2019, he and Kris retired and moved to their dream property, a home built in 1763 on 66 acres on the James River. John and Kris loved that property, where they planned to spend many years growing vegetables, fruit trees, and daylilies; and tending to their animals. When he got sick in 2023, he spent several months in the hospital at UVA. He always told the doctors his goal was to get back home, where he was happiest. The doctors were able to get him well enough to return home for a few months, and he enjoyed the Spring season, mowing, mulching flower beds and pulling weeds. For some that would be considered work, but for John, it was a labor of love, and a blessing that he could experience one more season at home, enjoying the beauty that was so important to him.
John leaves behind many family and friends that loved him. He is survived by his wife and best friend, Kristin Wright; and his mother, Rose Wright; as well as many aunts, uncles and cousins. John was preceded in death by his father, John Wright, Jr., and his brother, Robert Keenan. He also leaves behind two Sicilian Miniature Burros, an annoying Australian Shepherd, a faithful Great Pyrenees, nine cats (including one fat tripod), and numerous waterfowl and poultry.
A special debt of gratitude is owed to his dear cousin, Toni Tartaglino, who helped to care for him at his home during his final week.
The family suggests that any gifts in his memory may be made to the UVA Cancer Center in Charlottesville, VA where he received outstanding and compassionate care from a multitude of doctors and nurses. We will forever be grateful for the additional months we were able to spend with John because of his medical team at UVA.
Cancer Center | UVA Health Foundation