Sally Bright obit


Sally Bright, the former Tulsa World and syndicated columnist behind the long-running “Our Lively Language” feature, died Aug. 3.

She was 84.

A memorial service is set for 11:30 a.m. Saturday at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Bixby.

Fitzgerald Southwood Colonial Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

For nearly 30 years, Bright wrote her column “Our Lively Language,” fielding questions from readers on word meanings, grammar and syntax.

The feature debuted in 1978 in the World. During her years of syndication, which began in 1990, Bright appeared in more than 20 publications across the country.

Her columns were known for her trademark humor, which she injected into every reply.

“My idea was more about answering questions involving literature,” Bright said once, reflecting on her career. “But Tulsa World Managing Editor Gene Curtis guided it toward what it is today.

“He asked me if I could be funny. I had written one thing in high school that was funny. … But then I wrote some skits for my high school reunions and people laughed at the jokes, so I thought, ‘Well, I guess I can be funny.’”

Bright also distinguished herself as an educator. She started out at Edison High School, where she taught composition, literature and French. Later, she taught at Tulsa Community College. In 1998 she was named Carnegie Foundation Oklahoma Professor of the Year.

She retired from teaching in 2002, capping a career highlighted by multiple awards.

A Tulsa native and 1953 graduate of Central High School, Bright held a bachelor’s degree in English education and a master’s degree in modern language from the University of Tulsa.

Survivors include her husband, Hugh Bright; four sons, Mike Castleberry, Keith Castleberry, Don Bright and Joe Bright; five grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

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Tim Stanley


Twitter: @timstanleyTW

Staff Writer

Stanley is a general assignment reporter and the writer behind the award-winning "World War II Veterans Remember" series & book. 918-581-8385

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