He was born in Knightsville on May 18, 1929, the son of Clarence L. Wells and Martha (Reed) Wells. He graduated from Van Buren High School in 1947, and was the senior class president and member of the varsity basketball team. He worked on the family farm until entering the U.S. Army, earning the rank of sergeant. Upon his discharge, he enrolled at the Police Academy at Indiana University for police training. He was appointed to the Indiana State Police force in July 1956. His assignments were at the posts in Ligonier, Toll Road Post East End, Terre Haute, and Putnamville. He retired on May 18, 1984, with the rank of sergeant, specializing in school bus inspection and truck detail. In July 1982, he was awarded the Indiana State Police honor for accident-free driving for one million safe miles. He became a counselor at the Putnamville State Farm until his retirement in 1990. He continued farming for many years on the family farm and for local farmer, Leon Mercer. Preserving farmland for future generations had always been his passion.
He enjoyed spending time with his family and friends, reading, gardening, sports, big band music, and fishing trips. He was a 50-plus year member of the Knightsville Masonic Lodge 409, where he was a past master. He attended Grace Chapel and participated in an El Shaddai Emmaus Walk.
He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Betty Joan (Ooley) Wells, his daughters Kathy (Wells) Deal (Jim) and Karen Wells, all of Brazil, grandchildren Suzanne Deal Olsen (Keith), Terre Haute, Jana Deal Renner (Erik), Indianapolis, and Evan Wells Deal, Brazil, great-granddaughter Avery Olsen, Terre Haute, sister Norma Routt, Mason, Ohio, sisters-in-law Agnes Ruth Tibbets (Jim), Mentone, Jackie Thomas, Greencastle, and Roberta Ooley, Brazil, many nieces and nephews, cousins Ernest Egloff (Mary), Ralph Egloff (Joan), and Judith Randall, all of Carbon.
He was preceded in death by his parents, in-laws Loren and Ethel Ooley, sister-in-law Janice Ooley, brothers-in-law Gordon Routt, Lawrence (Bud) Ooley, and Don Thomas, several aunts, uncles and cousins.
Services will be conducted at Lawson-Miller Chapel, Brazil, Friday, July 16, at 10 a.m., with Pastor Tim Russell officiating. Burial will follow at Cottage Hill Cemetery with the Indiana State Police escorting. Military services will follow at the cemetery.
Visitation will be at the funeral home on Thursday, July 15, from 4-8 p.m., with Masonic services conducted at 6:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a charity of the giver's choice.
Visit www.frenchfuneralhome.com to light a candle in his memory.