John Bright

Obituary of John Leroy Bright

Please share a memory of John to include in a keepsake book for family and friends.
John passed away December 18th, 2022 at his home in Goldendale, Washington. John was born October 14th, 1939 and was 83 years of age at the time of passing. A memorial service will be held 11:00 A.M., Thursday, December 29th, 2022 at Columbia Hills Memorial Chapel (300 W Broadway, Goldendale, Washington). John Leroy Bright was the oldest son of Leroy Albert and Audrey Alice (Dobson) Bright. He was born in Los Angeles, CA on October 14th, 1939. He was a swimmer and football player in high school. John graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Science degree and started working at the City of Hope Medical Center as a biochemist. Through the years, he was a research chemist, lab assistant, lab equipment salesman, wine salesman, owned and operated restaurants, and worked as the jail cook in Goldendale. While working as a research chemist at USC, his team isolated the enzyme streptokinase from rattlesnake venom for use as a clot buster in heart attack victims. His last job before retirement was at the Umatilla Chemical Agent Disposal Facility where he helped neutralize the stockpile of WWII nerve gas stored there. John was married three times. His first wife was Betty (Henson), the second was Gyla (Benson), and his widow is Nan (Wheelock). He had 5 children: Karen Ann, Daniel Scot, Joseph Leroy, Oliver Matthew, and Amanda Beth. He has 8 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren. After moving to Goldendale, John and Nan ran Ted’s Diner and Back Alley Pizza together. They purchased the Ledbetter building and converted it into Bright’s restaurant before finally turning it into what it is now Klickitat Valley Title Company. John was a master gardener and a gourmet cook. He loved traveling and being a coach. He took great pride coaching the Goldendale Community Swim team and being a part of the Parks and Rec committee. Always curious and adventurous, he once made a Turducken (a turkey stuffed with a duck that was stuffed with a chicken). In addition, he used to have a side hustle where he sold tumor cells he grew in mice and rats. John died peacefully and without distress at his home on December 18th, 2022. He was proceeded in death by his little brother, Jeffrey Allen, and his daughter Karen Ann.