Mrs. Roberta Wright Rylander

  • Roberta Opal Wright was born on March 31, 1920 to John Henry and Pauline Schlipf Wright. Her father John, his brother, Wilbur, and their parents drove their team of horses and wagon from Missouri in 1898 looking for a healthier climate for Wilbur. The family stayed in Katy to farm and later started a drug store. In 1904, Mr. J.H. Wright and Dr. Stewart formed a partnership opening a drugstore with Dr. Stewart's office next door. As a young girl, Roberta attended both elementary, junior, and high school in Katy, and was part of the twenty-nine member Katy graduation class of 1936. After high school, she attended the University of Texas in Austin and graduated in 1940 with a professional degree in Pharmacy.

    Soon after resettling in her hometown, Mrs. Rylander became active in the Katy community. One of her first volunteer projects was placing flags on the graves of Katy veterans; a project her mother, Pauline, started years prior.

    She is probably best known for her dedication to preserving Katy's history. Mrs. Rylander was instrumental in establishing the Katy Heritage Society, and donated both her parents' home and the post office that her family owned, to the society. She has also written and published two books on Katy's history including Applauding the Past on Katy, Texas and Dr. Stewart Dear Sir. As a member of the City of Katy Board, she helped write bylaws for the City of Katy. 

    Mrs. Rylander's volunteer work has also included helping schools in Katy. She worked for many years as a volunteer for the Katy PTA and is a Life Member of the Texas Congress of Parents and Teachers. She has also been a member of the Katy Literary Club, where she was twice president. In May 2003, Mrs. Rylander was named Senior Citizen of the Year, recognizing her many years of community service in Katy. She remained active in the community until her last days.

    Mrs. Roberta Wright Rylander passed away from this life on Sunday, May 5, 2013 in Katy, Texas at the age of ninety-three years young. She is survived by her son, Fred A. “Tony” Rylander, Jr. and his wife, Waldean of Katy, her granddaughters, great-grandchildren, sister-in-law, Arlee Barton of Burnet, Texas, nieces, nephews, and special friends in Katy too numerous to mention all.