Richard W. “Rich” Wells, Maj., USMC (Ret.), age 66, died Friday, April 29, 2011, at his home on Twin Pond Road in Topsham, Maine. Perhaps best known as a devoted N.Y. football Giants fan, he was also an avid runner, skier and golfer. He was married to Carol (Joy) Wells.
Rich coached track as an assistant at Lisbon High School from 1975 to 1977 and as the boys’ coach at Mt. Ararat High School from 1983 to 1996. He could often be seen on early morning runs along Topsham streets with his group of running buddies. In recent years he served as a volunteer driver for Coastal Transportation.
In addition to his wife, Carol, he is survived by his son Daniel and his wife, Lisa, and his granddaughters Sophie, Clara and Josie, all of Topsham; and his son Andrew and his wife, Angie, and his grandchildren Jackson, Jude and Maire, all of Marshall, Mo.
Rich was very proud of being a United States Marine. His Marine Corps service influenced him the rest of his life. He was a longtime member of the Brunswick Golf Club, where he walked the course and carried his own bag. He often kidded his golfing group for not having their shirts tucked in neatly like Marines or for not having their belt buckles aligned properly. He liked to get real haircuts at barbershops, not trims at beauty salons.
He was born on October 2, 1944, in Greenport, Long Island, N.Y. He was the son of Herbert Jr. and Norma “Polly” (Sammis) Wells. His father was a Cadillac/Pontiac dealer, and Rich always drove Pontiacs.
He graduated from high school in Southold, N.Y., and then attended Springfield (Mass.) College, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Health, Physical Education and Recreation in 1966. It was there that he met Carol, his wife of 44 years. He also received a Master’s in Education from Springfield in 1967. While at Springfield he was co-captain of the cross country team in 1965 and a graduate assistant coach of the team in 1966.
He joined the USMC during his graduate year at Springfield College. He graduated from Officers Candidate School at Quantico, Va., in 1967 and from Naval Flight Schools in Florida, Mississippi and Texas in 1969.
From May 1970 to March 1971 he served as a fighter pilot in Vietnam, flying approximately 110 combat missions. He also served for three months as a Forward Air Controller for the Korean Marine Corps. Rich continued his active duty career as a Flight Instructor at VMFAT-201, Cherry Point, N.C.
He was released from active duty in 1972. From 1975 to 1978 he served as an Active Reservist in VMA-322, South Weymouth, Mass., and for the next ten years he served in the Individual Ready Reserves until his retirement in 1988. He often attended meetings and ceremonies of local military groups.
Following his military career, he worked from 1974 until 1999 for United Service Life Insurance Company and its successor, Reliastar Insurance Company. In 1999 he became a Financial Planner and Life Insurance Specialist for Allstate.
In addition to his wife, children and grandchildren, Rich is survived by his mother, Norma, of Southold, N.Y.; his twin brother, Roger Wells, and his wife, Theresa, of Dewitt, Mich.; his brother Herbert Wells III and his wife, Christine, of Reno, Nev.; two sisters-in-law, Peggy Thornton of Madison, Wis., and Marie Trudel of Kittery, Maine; and a number of nieces and nephews. His father, Herbert, died several years ago.
Rich was an active member of North Harbor Community Church in Topsham. A memorial celebration will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 7, at the Orion Performing Arts Center in Topsham. Light refreshments will be served. Dress will be casual.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to international orphanage assistance advocates, Love Without Boundaries, P.O. Box 25016, Oklahoma City, OK 73125-0016 or North Harbor Community Church, P.O. Box 425, Topsham, ME 04086.
This is a paid notice.