AUGUSTA - Rev. Arthur Walter Wells, 80, formerly of Wilton, died Saturday morning, Dec. 13, 2014, at the Maine Veteran's Home, Augusta.
He was born May 7, 1934, in East Dixfield, 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 US Army during the Korean Conflict. He graduated in 1960 from University of Maine, Orono, with a degree in Education. During his first teaching assignment in Wiscasset he met and in 1963 married, Konni Chase. Together they raised five children and although Arthur and Konni were divorced in 1983, they remained friends throughout his life.
Mr. Wells was a highly respected Maine educator, and his 25-year career as a teacher and coach, as a 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 the 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's of Divinity at the school. He became an ordained Unity minister and served the Unity Church of Albany, NY, for ten years, retiring in 2000. Soon thereafter, because of declining health, he returned to his beloved home, 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, life-long 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: 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 Zephyr Hills, Florida, many nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. He was predeceased by siblings: Joan Wells, Judy Wells, Robert Wells, Constance (Connie) Scherpf and Adrian "Butch" Wells.
Family and friends are invited to memorial visitation on Friday, Jan. 9, from 12 Noon until 2 PM at the Wiles Remembrance Center, 136 High St., Wilton. Memorial services will be held at the Center at 2 PM. Following services, a reception with light refreshments will be held at the Center; all are welcome. Public memorial graveside services, with full military honors, will be held Wednesday May 20 at 11 AM at Lakeview Cemetery, Wilton. Remembrance gifts may be given to either the Alzheimer's Association of Maine, 383 US Rte. One, #2C, Scarborough, ME 04074 or the American Diabetes Association, Box 10310, Portland, ME 04104. Tributes and condolences may be shared on his memorial wall at www.wilesrc.com.