Obituary of Michael Wren
Michael Wren, age 80, passed away peacefully in his home on January 6, 2019. He is now resting comfortably in the arms of Jesus after an earthly battle with liver cancer.
On August 26, 1938, in New Orleans, LA, Mike Wren was born to Oscar P. and “Punt” Wren. This might explain his lifelong love of shrimp, crawfish, crabs, frogs legs, and oysters. After the end of World War II, during which his father served in the SeaBees in the South Pacific, he moved to Long Beach, MS.
He was preceded in death by his parents, and his two brothers, Pete and Chris Wren. He is survived by his loving wife of 55 years, Frances Wilkerson Wren; his son, Robert (Brita) Wren of Long Beach; his grandchildren, Dylan Wren of Oxford, MS, Dr. Delaney Wren of Pensacola, FL, Destiny Wren of Gulfport, Michael and Rory Wren of Long Beach; great-grandchildren Kathryne and Duane Breeding of Gulfport, sisters-in-law, Linda (Scott) Broderick, Judie Wren, and Mary Ann Alexander; brother-in-law, John (Debra) Wilkerson; nephews, Jason (Kim) Wren and Nicholas Wilkerson; and nieces, Heather Wren, Shannon Wren Couhig, and Ashley Wren.
A Long Beach High graduate, Mike went on to graduate from the University of Mississippi with a Bachelor of Business Arts degree in 1960. He then served briefly in the Navy, Army, and National Guard of Mississippi.
Discovering that his business degree and an interest in the transportation industry suited his personality and skills, he embarked on a career that ultimately led him to focus on the Port of Gulfport. Mike dedicated over four decades developing and attracting import and export business to the Port of Gulfport. Many people who worked at the Port owe their livelihoods to a great extent to Mike’s diligence in attracting and keeping customers at the Port of Gulfport. He worked for Red Ball Motor Freight, Inc., Standard Fruit & Steamship Company, Sealand Terminal Corporation, International Terminal Operating Companies, P & O Ports, and eventually started Michael Wren & Associates to inspect poultry cargo being exported to Russia. Until his death, Mike was still working on proposals to develop additional business at the Port of Gulfport.
Not only was Mike dedicated to the work at the Port of Gulfport, he also served on many boards, committees, and participated in community activities. He was a member of First Baptist Church Long Beach, participated on mission trips, missionary projects, volunteer at Memorial Hospital, and other charitable activities. He was a member of Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity at Ole Miss, Ole Miss Alumni Association, Long Beach School Board, Long Beach Historical Society, Long Beach Water Management District, Governor’s Special Task Force for Economic Planning Development, Long Beach Planning Commission, Hurricane Katrina Recovery Master Plan Steering Committee, City of Long Beach Public Housing Authority Commissioner, Rotary Club, Propellor Club of Gulfport, Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce, Gulfport Stevedoring Association and several others. He was acknowledged for his work and honored with certificates and legislative recognition, and received the 1996 Propellor Club Maritime Person of the Year for the Gulfport Chapter Port Builder Award.
An avid reader and collector of books, Mike delighted in books about history, politics, war, detectives, and biographies. He earned his private pilot’s license, enjoyed fishing, attending hockey games, giving advice, and spending time with his family and pets.
Visitation will be held from 12 Noon until 1:00 p.m., Saturday, January 12, 2019 at RIEMANN FAMILY FUNERAL HOME, 19130 Commission Road, Long Beach, MS. The funeral service will follow at 1:00 p.m. in the funeral home chapel. Interment will be held at Long Beach City Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Building Fund at First Baptist Church of Long Beach. An online obituary may be viewed and memories & photos shared at www.riemannfamily.com