Oakland's Mother Wright dies at 87

May 9, 2009 at 2:36 PM

OAKLAND, Calif., May 9 (UPI) -- Mary Ann Wright, known as the Mother Teresa of Oakland, Calif., for her work on behalf of the downtrodden, has died. She was 87.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported Saturday that Wright died Thursday at a Berkeley, Calif., hospital from a series of afflictions.

The newspaper said that for more than 20 years she fed the hungry in Oakland. She formed the Mother Mary Ann Wright Foundation, which feeds more than 450 people a day on a budget of $137,000 a year.

Wright, a Roman Catholic, accepted no pay for her efforts and was assisted primarily by her daughters.

"Her passing is going to leave a huge vacuum," said Oakland City Councilman Larry Reid. "I don't know if there is anyone out there who can fill her shoes."

Wright was born July 11, 1921, in New Orleans. She was raised in Darlington, La., said Christopher Poston, one of her sons.

Her mother died when she was 5, and she was raised by her aunts and others, Poston said.

"They were all God-fearing people," he said. "They were glad to do it."

Wright is survived by 10 children, 33 grandchildren and 37 great-grandchildren. Two of her sons are deceased. Services have not been announced, the Oakland Tribune reported.

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