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Gale Melvin Wright, a teacher who made social studies and history interesting at Houston High School, died Monday morning, August 20th, 2012.

A favorite quote from Gale’s favorite movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, sums up our feelings perfectly for our most loved son, brother, friend, and teacher. “Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around, he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he.” –Clarence

Gale, age 41, son of Hubert Dean Wright and Doris Kiser Wright was born at the Texas County Memorial Hospital in Houston, MO on December 1st, 1970. He has been preceded in death by his Father. He was the beloved brother of Dawn Spencer of Houston, MO; Karen Shelton of Ellis Prairie, MO; Traci Knubley of Festus, MO; and Patti Roberts of Richland, MO. Brother-in-laws are Jerry Spencer, Tony Shelton, Jamie Roberts and Craig Knubley. He was a superhero uncle to Jerrod and Nicole Spencer, Evan, Owen and Addison of Licking, MO; Chad Spencer of Springfield, MO; Joshua and Jennifer Shelton, Devin, Dillon and Davney of Ellis Prairie, MO; Scott and Heather Shelton, Serenity and Forrest of Ellis Prairie, MO; Tony and Kristina Shelton, Eva and Liliana of Vieques, Puerto Rico; Emily and Grace Roberts of Richland, MO and Olivia and Sophia Knubley of Festus, MO. He was a member of a large family of aunts, uncles and cousins as well.

Gale attended the Houston Schools for thirteen years where he excelled as a student, made many lifelong friends, and became a lifelong Tiger fan. He was active in many clubs and organizations. Drawing from his high school experiences, Gale took great pride in knowing that the class of 1989 was the best and champions of all. He was a member of the First Free Will Baptist Church and enjoyed youth activities there. He was baptized on August 7th, 1977. Gale attended SMSU in Springfield graduating with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education, majoring in Social Studies. During his college years, he served as a dorm room advisor. He was a friend, confidant and advisor to many. Gale returned to the Houston area where he taught and coached a few years before continuing his education at the University of Missouri School of Law where he graduated in 1993. He taught school in the Columbia area, and then later returned to Houston to teach High School Social Studies. He had also taught classes for Missouri State University in Houston.

Life in Houston was busy for Gale. In addition to teaching, Gale coordinated the Homecoming festivities for the Houston Schools. He was faculty advisor for the Student Council. He was a fan of John F. Kennedy and Camelot, the St. Louis Cardinals, and his alma maters. He was an avid bowler and had won several state tournaments. He loved movies, music, television, books and comic book heroes. He was a trivia whiz. After his busy days, Gale was glad to come home to his faithful companion, Jack, an old English bulldog.

Visitation for Gale will be held at the Evans Funeral Home in Houston Thursday evening from 6:00 to 8:00 P.M. The funeral will be held at the Houston High School Gymnasium Friday afternoon at 2:00 P.M. The Reverends Danny Delcour and Ed Edington will officiate. Interment will be in the Oakland Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions to a scholarship fund established in Mr. Wright’s honor. Please contact Evans Funeral Home or Progressive Ozark Bank for information.

One of Gale’s many friends shared this with us: “A boyhood friend of mine took pride in being named “A Great Gust of Wind” because when he said “wind” he always made sure to say it like his voice had a whoosh to it and had the arms flailing all around to go with it. He was fabulous and everywhere Gale’s wind blew him, everyone found him fabulous. His capacity for knowledge was matched only by his quick wit and gift of knowing how to make people laugh until they cried, and then keep them laughing. His passion ran deep for his students, his schools, his hometown, his friends and his family. Gale Melvin Wright will always remain that great gust of wind, that force of nature that touched innumerable lives.”

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