1934 – 2014
AUGUSTA — The Rev. Arthur Walter Wells, 80, formerly of Wilton, died Saturday morning, Dec. 13, at the Maine Veterans’ Home.
He was born in East Dixfield on May 7, 1934, one of nine children of Vance and Bernice (Reed) Wells Sr. He was a 1953 graduate of Wilton Academy and was a veteran, having served in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict. He graduated in 1960 from the University of Maine in Orono with a degree in education.
During his first teaching assignment in Wiscasset, he met and, in 1963, married Konni Chase; they raised five children and although Arthur and Konni were divorced in 1983, they remained friends throughout his life.
Arthur was a highly respected Maine educator and his 25-year career as a teacher, coach, principal and a superintendent of schools took him from the Western Maine mountains to Aroostook County (Sherman and Ashland), to Holden-Eddington, the Airline and York.
He was a former member of Hammond Street Congregational Church, United Church of Christ. It was during his years in Bangor that Arthur began his interest in the Unity Church. As a second career, he followed his calling into ministry and moved to Lee’s Summit, Mo., where he served as the director of personnel at Unity School of Christianity, while earning his master of divinity at the school.
He became an ordained Unity minister and served the Unity Church of Albany, N.Y., for 10 years, retiring in 2000. Soon thereafter, because of declining health, he returned to his beloved home of Maine to be closer to family. He continued his efforts in pastoral ministry and occasional preaching at the various assisted living facilities where he resided. He loved to write and preach positive, affirming services that were in keeping with the values of the Unity Church.
Over his lifetime, his hobbies included woodworking, gardening, reading, writing and playing golf. Though he no longer could play his trombone, he could still enjoy music and its calming effects.
His family is grateful for the care he received at the Veterans’ Home in Augusta and take comfort in knowing that he is at peace. In part, his legacy is about being an honorable, open-minded, fearless, lifelong learner.
He is survived by his loving children: Alan J. Wells and his daughter, Jocelynn, and granddaughter, Lilly, of Edgecomb; Jeffrey V. Wells and his wife, Allison, and son, Evan, of Gardiner; Susan H. Winkler and her husband, David, and daughters, Heather and Jessica, of Bangor; Timothy L. Wells of Portland and daughters, Meaghan and Kerry; Andrew I. Roth-Wells and his wife, Nina, and their children, Emma and Chase, of Georgetown; the mother of his children, the Rev. Constance “Konni” Wells, of Damariscotta; two brothers, Vance Wells Jr. and his wife, Ree, of Lincolnville and Dean Wells and his wife, Jeannine, of Wilton; one sister, Shirley Strain and her husband, Robert, of Zephyrhills, Fla.; and many nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.
He was predeceased by his siblings, Joan Wells, Judy Wells, Robert Wells, Constance “Connie” Scherpf and Adrian “Butch” Wells.
Tributes and condolences may be shared on his memorial wall at www.wilesrc.com.