Linnie Maxine Brightwell Timms Wright was born August 26, 1926 to the parents of Leonard and Carrie Bowie Timms in Kilgore, Texas. She was preceded in death by her parents and siblings: Thelma, Vernon, Dimple, Calnora, Lonnie, Jessie, Hazel, Helen, and her twin brother, Linzie Timms. Her Aunt Clara and Uncle William Marshall raised her after her parents died. They taught Mom about God and she fell in love with him. She accepted Christ at age six and began her Christian journey. She sang her first solo “Jesus Wants Me for A Sunbeam”; Her first speech recital was “What Is A Home Without A Bible?”
Linnie attended Danville Elementary School in Rusk County. In 1942, she graduated salutatorian of her senior class at North Chapel High School in Kilgore, Texas. She was able to pay her tuition to Jarvis Christian College, in Hawkins, Texas by singing in the college choir and working in the dining hall. In 1946, she graduated with a major in English and a minor in French.
It was at JCC that she met Malcolm Nathaniel Wright, Sr. They were married on September 16, 1945. To this union, ten children were born. Malcolm Jr., Joyce, Vivian, Jeannie, Janie, Sigmond, Ivan, Samuel, Brian & Ryan.
After college, the couple moved to Sulphur Springs where Linnie joined Pleasant Hill Baptist Church. Linnie was mentored by the late Rev. J. I Gilmore, Rev. A. D. Sanders, and Deacons Jim Wright, & Samuel Watson. They saw she had a humble and willing spirit for working in the church. There, she served as Vacation Bible School director for 26 years and sang in the church choir. Linnie played the piano and served as assistant musician at Pleasant Hill before being called to be musician at New Hope Baptist Church and St. Mark Baptist Church. For many years, she served as secretary of Cypress District Congress and as Associate Dean of the Cypress District Sunday School & N.B.C. Institute.
The late Reverend H. Wheeler, Mrs. Archie Davis, and mom worked with the NETO project to provide running water for the Pleasant Hill Community. She was active in 4-H and the Home Demonstration Club and was a member of the Heroines of Jericho. On several occasions, she presented book reviews of the book “A Man Called Peter” by Catherine Marshall she received many accolades from those reviews.
While raising her children, mom worked in substitute teaching positions at the Norris High School in Commerce, Douglas School in Sulphur Springs and at Clark High in Ladonia from 1954 to 1961. In 1962, she accepted a full-time position at Clark High school in Ladonia under the late Professor J. W. Askew. There she taught until 1966 when she transferred to the elementary campus at Fannindel School in Pecan Gap. There she taught Special Education and Kindergarten. She attended Prairie View A. & M. and East Texas State University to earn her master’s degree in Elementary & Special Education. She earned three certifications in her lifetime. Linnie later accepted a teaching position at North Hopkins School and taught there eleven years. While there, she wrote one of her poems in dedication of the new North Hopkins School entitled “From the Old to The New”.
Linnie was gifted in many areas. She wrote a song entitled “One Way of Life” and sent it to WLAC in Nashville, TN. They sent her back a demo copy, but she chose not to continue with it because she was not pleased with the arrangement. In August 1997, she was inducted into the International Society of Poets for the many poems she wrote. Mrs. Erma Wilson and several family members accompanied her to Washington, DC to observe her receiving the award. It was there that Mom met the late Florence Henderson. In 1984-85, she wrote a book entitled “Excerpts of A Small-Town School Teacher”.
Malcolm & Linnie were married for 65 years prior to his passing in 2010 at the age of 91. Other family members who preceded her in death are son, Thomas Wright, grandsons: Malcolm Nathaniel Wright, III, Roderick Wright and Bradley Cole Wright.
Those who remain to cherish her memory are sisters-in-Law: Mrs. Ozie Marie Wright of Sulphur Springs & Mrs. Johnnie Wright of Lancaster. Her children and their spouses, and a host of grandchildren, great-randchildren & great-great-grandchildren along with a host of nieces & nephews.
Linnie passed away on April 5, 2020. Private family graveside services will be held on Wednesday, April 8, 2020 at Pleasant Hill Cemetery.
Arrangements are under the direction of West Oaks Funeral Home. www.westoaksfuneralhome.com