July 14, 1932 – August 7, 2023
Captain Winfield “Scott” Wright passed away peacefully on August 7, 2023, in his beloved Flour Tower in Bridgeport, WA with his longtime partner Kathy Thompson by his side. Scott lovingly referred to Kathy as his “earth angel” and they enjoyed many years of fun and adventure together.
Scott was born in Los Angeles, California on July 14, 1932, to Mary L. and Winfield S. Wright. Scott was a child of the Great Depression, and as such he learned at an early age to make something from nothing. Although he lacked a formal education, he never lost the desire to learn about how things worked, or how to make things work. He avidly studied history and science, and he especially enjoyed researching and telling stories about the origins of words and phrases. He wrote a monthly article in the nautical magazine Latitudes and Attitudes about the origin of words and phrases, how they came to be, and what words/terms and phrases mean in the present day.
Since 1959 Scott consulted and sold materials and equipment for fiberglass to the construction industry. In the early ‘60s, Scott was introduced to a new and amazing product … Sprayed Polyurethane foam! He was involved in the early day development of the materials and helped one of the original developers of spray foam equipment, Fred Gusmer with the innovation of the spray gun, spray nozzles, and equipment to allow polyurethane foam to make an entrance into the modern-day Spray Foam market.
In 1974 Scott, his nephew, Dan Helton, and his friend Kurt Jositis started UCSC NW (Urethane Contractors Supply & Consulting) in Anchorage, Alaska. UCSC was a manufacturer of spray polyurethane foam, industrial coatings, and supplier of equipment for that industry. In the ’80s Scott partnered with his son Jerry Whitaker and began UCSC SW in Roswell, NM, and in 1989 was joined by his daughter Lela Wright. Scott was a strong proponent of this amazing material whose applications are widespread. Anything from insulating the Space Shuttle and homes to insulating your Yeti coolers. He would talk passionately about the endless possibilities of these materials until the end of his life. “The industry was my life, and the life of my family,” Scott often stated.
Scott had many adventures during his lifetime. For over forty years he owned a beautiful 1934 wooden Schooner, Destiny, once owned by Howard Hughes. He made two transpacific crossings from LA to Hawaii, where he lived aboard Destiny. Scott had many story-worthy trips aboard the vessel, from Hawaii to the California coastline and throughout the Pacific Northwest.
After his journeys aboard Destiny Scott found a sleepy little town in Central Washington on the Columbia River. In this little town of Bridgeport, WA was an old grain elevator. When Scott first saw the grain elevator he said, “It just called out to me.” At the age of 75 Scott, with the help of just a few men started revamping the old grain elevator, dubbed the Flour Tower, into his private residence where he lived out his life.
Scott was preceded in death by his parents, his son(s) Robin Scott Wright, and Tommy Whitaker, granddaughter Kimberly Hobbs, the mother of his children Cyloma Durham, and his four brothers, Irving Helton, Cleburn Helton, Jim Helton, and Boytt Helton and their wives.
He is survived by his partner and Earth Angel Kathy Thompson of Bellingham, Washington, son Jerry Whitaker (Millie) of Roswell, NM, daughter Lela Wright of Hondo, NM, and daughter-in-law Sue Whitaker (Tommy), Roswell, NM. Grandchildren Scotty Hobbs, Ryan McCullough, Jared Whitaker, and TJ Whitaker; his nephew Dan Helton of Tacoma, WA, and several great-grandchildren, nephews, and nieces.
A Celebration of Life will be announced at a later date. His cremains will be laid to rest with his son, Robin Wright at South Park Cemetery of Roswell, NM.