Jerry Wright

The glass industry is full of men of character and men who are characters. Jerry Wright of AAA Glass in Fort Worth, Texas, was both. Even now, a full week after his untimely passing, it’s hard to talk about Jerry in the past tense. That’s because he was so unique, and such a life force, that imagining our daily world without him is not yet possible. No one who ever met Jerry, even for a passing moment, would forget him. You just couldn’t. He was that unique.

AAA Glass and Texas Glass Association President Jerry Wright passed away last week.
AAA Glass and Texas Glass Association President Jerry Wright passed away last week.

I’ve known and worked with Jerry on various different projects and things for more than 33 years. During that time, I never saw him have a harsh word for anyone nor engage in any of the typical industry politics you’d see from others. I never knew him to go back on his word or change a story—real rarities in this industry. And I knew him to be a strong, Christian man who loved his family very much.

Jerry was committed to the glass industry—and especially to its smaller retail owners who needed help in business skills—from marketing, to accounting, to customer service, he spent tireless hours bringing education to glass shop owners who needed help. Many of the national industry educational efforts and all of the industry educational efforts in Texas in the last 25 years have had Jerry Wright’s imprint on them.

And what an imprint it was. Jerry had some amazing gifts—humor, a keen set of values, the gift of public speaking and public preaching, an almost magical power of persuasion and a willingness to make himself the butt of any joke for a good cause. In the course of the many projects we worked on together, there was more than one time when I explained I was strongly opposed to doing something this way or that—only to walk out the door or get off the phone 20 minutes later having agreed to do exactly what I didn’t want to, thanks to his persuasiveness.

He taught me a lot of Texas-sized lessons about business management, like how to “hire slow and fire fast,” and the test you used to see if a struggling employee could really do the job. I won’t explain it here, but suffice it to say it was called the “shotgun test of employment.”

“Jerry was a friend to everyone he met and an open-armed supporter of my code work,” said former CGA president Donn Harter.  “His magnanimous smile and inimitable ability to communicate to the glazing industry informed countless audiences. The legacy that Jerry imparted to the National and Texas Glass Associations will live on forever through the many converts he touched. God may have received more than he can handle. I’m sure Jerry will go on organizing forever.”

This gentle giant of the glass industry possessed open arms, outstretched hard-worked hands and a true heart. I will never forget some of the poignant stories he told about his Dad’s work in the glass industry and how he often still wore his father’s glass cutter around his neck, so he felt like he was always with him.

I take some comfort in thinking he is with his Dad now and in knowing how much he loved his parents, his wife Cynthia and their kids Tracy, Sarah and Cliff. And they are all in our prayers.


Remembrance film of Jerry from his family.

To leave a condolence note for the family.