Ronnie Wright, Mt. Vernon public figure, dead at 77

Ronnie Wright pictured with his twin brother Donnie Wright. The brothers have been active in the community since moving to Mt. Vernon in high school working for the Sherrif's Dept., City Police Dept. and volunteering for the Mt. Vernon Fire Dept. Ronnie Wright, 77, passed away in his sleep on Saturday, June 17.

Mt. Vernon public figure Ronnie Wright, 77, passed away in his sleep at his twin brother Donnie's house on Saturday, June 17. The town loses not just a good citizen, but a local hero and celebrity.
Wright served his community since 1965, when he was commissioned as a Lawrence County Sheriff deputy along with his brother Donnie. By 1968, they were both city police officers where they served for nearly 10 years. Ronnie, as well as Donnie, volunteered as a Mt. Vernon firefighter and served in that position for 58 years.
Lawrence County Sheriff, and Mt. Vernon Fire Chief, Brad DeLay spoke to Wright's commitment to the fire department over his many years of service.
"He was a dedicated firefighter and would always be willing to help," DeLay said of Wright's dedication.
Ronnie and Donnie never stayed too far apart, since moving to Mt. Vernon in high school, they worked nearly every job together. They were coworkers in a grocery store in high school, in the fire department and with the police at the same time.
Helping, it seems, is what Ronnie did best. In addition to his long commitment to service in the line of duty, he was also the sole taxi driver in the city of Mt. Vernon for decades. He held the position for 26 years and in that time he reportedly drove more than 268,000 passengers. More than just normal passengers though, he often taxied people from the Missouri Veteran's Home/Mt. Vernon.
There were some times when Wright was too helpful. He once reportedly picked up a man from his hotel without knowing he was actually a bank robber.
Ronnie will be missed by many in the community, including DeLay.
"Ronnie Wright was a wonderful person," he said. "I have known him personally for the past 32-plus years," DeLay said.
Ronnie was known by those outside the area too, becoming a small celebrity when he was pictured in the book "Women See Men" alongside his twin brother, both sporting police uniforms. The picture was featured on an episode of "The Today Show" which was viewed by an audience nationwide. 
"Ronnie has served the Mt. Vernon and surrounding communities for decades," said DeLay. "He will be missed greatly by this community."


Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


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