Paul Lee Wells

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Paul Lee Wells, 82, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, June 11th with friends and family at his side. Paul fought a heroic battle with Multiple System Atrophy (MSA).

Paul is survived by his wife, Fern A. Wells of Mesa; son, Douglas Thor Wells; daughter, Robyn Michele Olson; son-in-law, Loren N. Olson; stepchildren, Ron and Darla Bohn, Steve and Cheryl Bohn; grandchildren, Donald Paul and Elyse Lorelei Marovich, James Douglas Marovich, Grace Hannah Olson and Ellyse Joy Olson; step-grandchildren, Erica and Erik Nilius, Alyssa and Nick Wiedemeier, Richard and Erin Bohn, Mandi and Michael Stevens; 10 precious step-great-grandchildren; and "Little Buddy" Mia, the Shih Tzu. Paul was preceded in death by his first wife, Joan; Parents, Pearl and Edith Wells; big brother, William (Whick) Wells; and sister, Leona (Sis) Collings.

Paul was born and raised in Mercer, Mo. He received his BA from Maryville College and his MA from Kirksville College. He told many stories of his days as a "poor Missour-a farm boy", often joking about his small town ways. Paul and his wife Joan welcomed their first child, Douglas in 1957. In 1962, the family ventured to Mesa where Paul took a teaching position as a member of Westwood High School's first faculty. In 1967, Paul and Joan adopted baby girl Robyn into their family. Paul was widowed in 1983. The Lord brought Paul and Fern together and they were married in 1987.

Paul was an active member of his staff and community. He became the Social Studies Department Head and continued to teach history, political science, and economics. When he wasn't in the classroom, he coached basketball, directed student European summer trips, taught driver's ed, and announced football games. Paul retired from Westwood after 28 years and taught for three more years for Red Mountain High School before his retirement in 1992.

As a member of Mesa First Assembly of God, Paul served as a deacon, Sunday school teacher and was a Gideon for many years. Later in life, Paul's home church became Brown Road Baptist Church where he attended with his wife, Fern.

Paul and Fern spent many years traveling to Europe. Paul loved Britain and Germany in particular and through his life would use words from his limited and very poor German vocabulary. For four consecutive years, Paul and Fern served at the International Baptist Theological Seminary in Prague where they lived and worked for three months each year. He enjoyed driving and made RV trips all over the US often taking his grandchildren along to share new experiences and see new places.

Paul was a gifted athlete. From an early age, Paul's love for basketball was obvious and with a height of 6'5, it suited him well. As an adult, Paul also played community softball on various leagues until only a few years ago, where again he excelled and hit many home runs. He continued to stay fit by visiting the Leisure World gym every morning until he was 78 years old. In his last months, Paul enjoyed visits from friends and family, telling funny one-liners to his caregivers, chocolate malts, watching St. Louis Cardinals games, and sharing an occasional nap with his little buddy, Mia.

Paul was a proud grandpa and bragged endlessly about his grandchildren. Paul and Fern shared a small summer home at Pinecrest Lakes in Overgaard, AZ for 20 years. Here, he taught his grandkids lessons in life and nature; hiking, fishing, feeding squirrels, and even driving lessons on old dirt roads. He created lasting memories of rocks and sticks, trips to "the DQ", and many talks on the porch swing while spotting deer and wild horses.

Paul's faith in Christ was strong through his last breaths. His quiet faith touched all that knew him and will comfort friends and family in the years ahead. He prayed to Jesus daily from the depths of his heart and soul. Paul was a friend to all regardless of age, race, sex, religion, or income. His many friendships withstood the test of time as will the impact he made with his caregivers.

Paul would never boast or seek attention, but his impact on this earth and in his family will be forever cherished as we remember him as the big, strong, honest gentleman he was.

A memorial service will be held at Brown Road Baptist Church, 4801 E Brown Rd. Mesa, AZ 85205 Saturday, June 29th at 10:30 am with a light lunch reception to follow.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Mesa United Way in Paul's name to fund foster children and families.
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Published on June 27, 2019
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2 posts

Rod DiGiovanni
Jun 29, 2019
Robyn: Much Love to you and your family at this difficult time. While I didn't know your dad, I'm sure he was quite the gentleman and will be watching over you all from heaven.
Mark Young
Jun 27, 2019
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