Cover photo for Annette Wright's Obituary
Annette Wright Profile Photo
1953 Annette 2023

Annette Wright

July 4, 1953 — September 4, 2023

   J. Annette Van Orden Wright, of West Eden Street, Edenton, NC, died Monday, September 4, 2023 in ECU Health Chowan Hospital.

   Mrs. Wright was born July 4, 1953, in McMinnville, Oregon to the late L. Jeanne (Walker) Van Orden and Walter A. Van Orden. Because her father was in heavy construction, Annette moved continuously during her youth, and entered college having lived in 6 different states. She graduated from Long Beach State University in December 1975 and began a 28 year career with the Federal government as a special agent/criminal investigator. Annette continued to move with the Federal government – California, Washington, Oregon, Pennsylvania, & Virginia.

   On April 22, 1989, she married the love of her life, Captain Joseph Martin Pickett Wright, Jr. (USN Ret.), in Annapolis, MD. Upon her retirement in 2003, they moved to Edenton, where Annette soon became very involved at Vidant Chowan Hospital. Later she would become the president of the North Carolina Hospital Volunteers (a state organization for hospital volunteers.) After 10 years of hospital volunteering, Annette retired and began a new chapter in her life. She began volunteering with the Edenton Historical Commission as a Trolley Guide, which she did for 9 years. She received the Volunteer of the Year award in 2015, 2019, and 2020. In 2020, Annette was the recipient of the DAR Community Service Achievement Award, and in 2022, she was the first recipient of the annual Penelope Barker Achievement Award.

   Sadly, Pickett died in July 2022. Annette is looking forward to joining Pickett, who is looking forward to them being together again.

   Surviving is her sister, Diana S. Gats (Robert) of Irving, TX; three stepchildren, Michael P Wright (Mega) of Indonesia, Catharine S. Chopp (Tom) of Boise, ID, and J. Ruffin Wright (Violette) of Annapolis, MD; five grandchildren, Hardian Muljadi (Samantha) of IL, Harisa Muljadi of PA, Richard P Chopp of CO, Anna S. Chopp of OH and Annalise K. Wright of MD; a great-grandson, Kais, and a great-granddaughter, Sloan, both of IL; two brothers-in-law, Arthur St. Clair Wright (Susan) of WA, and Henry T. Wright (Frances) of MI. In addition there are three nieces, two nephews, six great-nieces and two great-nephews.

   A memorial service will be held Thursday, September 14th, at 11:00 a.m. in St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 101 West Gale Street, Edenton, and will be conducted by the Rev. Dr. Robert Sawyer. A reception at Edenton Bay Oyster Bar, 621 W. Queen Street, open to family and friends, will immediately follow the service.

   The family expresses their deep appreciation to all those who sent cards and flowers or stopped by to talk with and share experiences with Annette.

   In lieu of flowers, please donate to the charity of your choice, the ECU Health Chowan Hospital Development Council, Palliative Care, PO Box 629, Edenton, NC 27932, or the Edenton Historical Commission, 505 S. Broad Street, Edenton, NC 27932.

   Online condolences may be made by visiting

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

St. Paul's Episcopal Church

101 West Gale Street, Edenton, NC 27932

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