Bill Wright, an auto dealer and philanthropist in Kalamazoo, MI, died suddenly in Fort Myers, FL, on Dec. 28. He was 55. A family member, quoted by local news, said the cause of death was believed to be heart failure.
Wright sold his stake in the Seelye-Wright Automotive Group in October, of which he had been a partner since 1989. The group owns and operates six dealerships in western Michigan and has since shortened its name to the Seelye Automotive Group. He was known in western Michigan for his slogan “Yes We Can,” which he would use to end every commercial and emblazoned billboards in the area.
He also founded the Wright for Kids foundation, which raises money to help abused and neglected children in the Kalamazoo area.
His business partner, Mike Seelye , says in a statement, “Obviously I have a long history with him. We have worked together and been partners for 30-plus years. So it’s shocking to me and a sad situation. It’s hard to believe that a guy who was as big as life as him is dead.”