John Albert Bright Jr., 76, engineer and volunteer


John Albert Bright Jr., a retired engineer and Eucharistic minister, died of complications from multiple myeloma Tuesday at Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care. The Timonium resident was 76.

He was born and raised in Yonkers, N.Y., and immediately after graduating from Roosevelt High School in 1946 he enlisted in the Army. After his service ended in 1948, he entered Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., where he graduated with a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering in 1952.

His wife of 50 years, the former Marianne Sullivan, and a daughter, Therese Garroway of Ellicott City, said his demeanor, honesty and love for his family helped define his character. "He never would do anything that was dishonest," his wife said. "He never took a penny that didn't belong to him."

From 1952 to 1974 he worked at Esso, now ExxonMobil Corp. He left to begin a private engineering practice, then went to work in 1978 for Crown Central Petroleum, where he remained until he retired in 1994.

He left his private practice "so we could afford to eat," his wife said.

Bob Fritz, who met Mr. Bright about 28 years ago while working at Crown Central Petroleum, said Mr. Bright showed a passion not only for his family but for engineering. He said Mr. Bright never forgot the engineering knowledge that he learned.

"He was very detail-oriented," Mr. Fritz said. "He'd give you instructions on how to do something, step by step, without having it in front of him."

After retirement, Mr. Bright and his wife spent a majority of their time traveling and volunteering for St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church in Cockeysville. He also volunteered at Bykota Senior Center in Towson and helped people with their taxes.

About 20 years ago, he became a Eucharistic minister at St. Joseph Church.

"He was a guy that had his priorities straightened out," said Deacon Ed Sullivan of St. Joseph. "He never raised his voice. He really had a quiet, calming way about him."

Mr. Sullivan said that Mr. Bright maintained a positive attitude even when his health declined.

"There's an old Irish saying, to live every day as if it were your last and one day you will be right. I think that applies to Jack," Mr. Sullivan said, "He lived every day, and he didn't throw the towel in."

A funeral Mass was celebrated Thursday at St. Joseph.

In addition to his wife and daughter, he is survived by five other daughters, Margaret Zubrowski of Phoenix, Baltimore County, Anne Johnston of Redmond, Wash., Mary Mueller of Norristown, Pa., Regina Herr of Fairfax, Va., and Elizabeth Esker of Elkridge; four sons, John A. Bright III of Mount Bethel, Pa., Daniel Bright of Wenonah, N.J., William Bright of Bangor, Pa., and Paul Bright of Hanover; and 17 grandchildren.

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