The Madison Church of Christ was filled with a special light shining through sanctuary where Johnny Wright’s life was celebrated by Brother Steve North, Eddie Stubbs, and the beautiful angelic voices of The Whites’, Buck, Sheryl, and Sharon.  There were tears of sadness, tears of joy, and tears for the loss of our special friend.  I felt because I have known the family for so long, that I was privileged to be a part of this day of mourning of Johnny’s passing.
This is one of the first funeral ceremonies that I did not look around to see “who” was in attendance. Brother North’s uplifting thoughts on the life of Johnny Wright were so special, and Eddie Stubbs gave a great account of Johnny’s life in music, but also spoke of his love and friendship for Johnny, Kitty and the entire family.  Eddie’s voice seemed to break when he spoke of the reason he is here in Nashville and so involved in country music, is because of Miss Kitty Wells and Johnny Wright.  
The 74 years of love and togetherness of Miss Kitty and Johnny is something unheard in today’s society, and they both made it look so easy.  Everything that was spoken by anyone in attendance was that Johnny made his family first in everything he ever done, and it was evident at this ceremony.  Love of God, love for his family, love of his music.
There were some of the most beautiful flowers that I have ever seen at a funeral.  I did not see any of the younger artists in attendance….I know that in some way (in the way that I think), that Johnny was looking down on this gathering of his family and friends, and he must have known how much he is loved and missed.  I spoke with Miss Kitty as I was leaving the church and expressed to her that the ceremony very special and I felt that Johnny would have been happy.  She said, “Oh I know he was watching, and I know he loved it.” 
Miss Kitty was surrounded with all of her family, her son, daughter, and all of the grandchildren.  I know that in the coming days she will surely be filled with sadness at the loss of her partner in life, but I also feel that she has a family that has been at her side through all of these years, and she is blessed by their love and concerns.  I have commended Sue and Bobby on many occasions for being so devoted to their parents.  I told Bobby at the visitation, “Your Dad lived a long and great life,” and Bobby said, “I know Marty, but if his health would have been better, I would have loved to have him around for another 10-20 years.”  I thought to myself, what a wonderful thing to say in this time of great sadness in their family.
I have many stories of the times that I had the Kitty Wells Family Show as part of my package shows, and when I think of all of the great times I had backstage with them before they went on to perform, I realize that I have some great memories that will be a part of my life until my time on this earth comes to an end.
Johnny Wright, I will miss you, and you have always been a special person in my life.  Miss Kitty, you are so special in the lives of so many of us in the country music industry, and to your millions of fans.  I know that Miss Kitty knows that she is loved and cared about by so many, and especially her family.
This was a special day of celebration of a man who left a important mark on living life together, taking care of family first, and his legacy as one of country music’s great stars and performers.  His great songs have left his music legacy as strong as anyone’s, as a solo recording artist, and with the great duo team of Johnny & Jack. 
Johnny Wright, you will live on in our lives, our memories, and our music.  You will be missed by each of us who have been touched by your kindness and your life on this earth. 
Your friend,

Marty Martel

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