Wilma Wuthrich Righter, mother of Ohio Academy of Family Physicians Past President Elizabeth L. Righter, MD, born April 1, 1935, in San Francisco, CA, died January 24, in Dayton, OH. She was a wife, mother, Christian, feminist, activist, and friend.
Willie’s mother was born in Barcelona, Spain, and was an immigrant to the United States via Mexico. Willie was proud of her Catalan heritage. Willie grew up in Morgan Hill, CA. As a child in 1942, she witnessed the beginnings of the Internment of Japanese Americans, and her conscience for justice formed.
She earned her BA from the University of California in Berkeley, CA, where she met her husband, Dick Righter. They went to Philadelphia where Dick pastored Richardson Memorial Presbyterian Church. They were highly involved in the Civil Rights Movement. In 1968, they came to Dayton with their two daughters. They organized the Congregation for Reconciliation, a new church with members of faith and conscience, whose mission was to do social action. Her activities included liturgy creation along with children’s and youth education. Willie worked as a licensed clinical counselor. In the community, she helped found the Good Friday Walk for Justice and Peace, and she was a key leader for more than 25 years. She taught non-violence training and was arrested committing civil disobedience. For many years, she served on the Board of Leaders for Equality and Action in Dayton (LEAD). LEAD is Dayton’s grassroots, faith-based community organizing initiative for justice. Willie served on the action committee whose work resulted in a precedent setting case that gained access to Beavercreek, OH, for RTA bus riders.
She is preceded in death by her father, William Wuthrich and mother, Marie (Sagues) Wuthrich. She is survived by her husband of nearly 57 years, Rev. Richard L. Righter (Dick) of Dayton; daughter, Dr. Elisabeth L. Righter (Lisa); son-in-law, Stephen Kramer; grandson, Benjamin Kramer; and daughter, Karen Righter Malesko.
A celebration of her life will be planned for spring 2018. If friends wish to honor Willie in some way, the family prefers a memorial contribution to LEAD, Planned Parenthood, Bread for the World, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, or a cause of your choice.