KEARNEY — Carl Wells, 80, of Kearney passed away peacefully on June 14, 2019, in his home surrounded by his family.
Services will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday, June 21, at Sargent United Methodist Church with burial following in Mount Hope cemetery of Sargent. Govier Brothers of Broken Bow will be handling arrangements.
A visitation will be from 8 a.m. until service time at the church on Friday. Online condolences can be made at www.govierbrothers.com
In honor of Carl’s memory, there will be a visitation with the family from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 19, at Cunningham’s Journal on the Lake in Kearney.
Carl Lewis Wells was born July 20, 1938, at his Great Aunt Mable’s house in Sargent. His parents were Lee and Marion (Cole) Wells and was welcomed by his older sister, Dorlea.
Lee moved his family around to various locations to farm … Morrill, Huntley, Wyo., and then to Whitney in 1950. In 1952, Carl started attending high school in Chadron. As an active member of FFA and state vice president of the panhandle, Carl attended many meetings. As fate would have it, one of his buddies suggested he needed to check out the “new girl” in town who had recently moved to Chadron. When Carl got home, he immediately loaded up his buddies in his black and yellow ‘55 Ford convertible. It was love at first sight when he met Kay Lynn Haskell working at the Frontier Drive-in.
It took numerous sodas and visits to get Kay to agree to a date! By 1957, they decided they were going to get married and Kay begin purchasing pieces of silver with her teaching money. Carl purchased an engagement ring and a silver knife which he tied together with a bow and put in a box. The Christmas of 1957, he proposed to Kay Lynn and presented her with the box.
Carl and Kay Lynn were married May 25, 1958. In order to support his new wife, Carl decided to find a job outside of farming. He took a job at Henkens Implement in Chadron and quickly advanced to the role of parts manager.
Carl soon moved to the automotive parts business with Sidles Chambers Auto Parts. They happily moved around the Black Hills as Carl took various jobs in Hot Springs and Custer. In 1959, they welcomed their first child, a son, Michael Lynn. In 1961, another son, Bradley Eugene, joined the family. In 1966, along came Michelle Rene’e.
A year later Carl and Kay picked up their little family and moved to Broken Bow, where eventually they bought the Sidles Automotive store. Kay did the bookkeeping for a number of years and knew her way around the automotive parts. In 1985 they sold the store and “retired” … that was very short lived as neither Carl or Kay were the retiring kind. In 1989, they found themselves back in business buying another store in Valentine. They ran that store until 2000, when we had the second “retirement” party! They spent the next 10 years traveling and camping.
In 2010, due to health concerns and the need to be closer to their children and grandchildren, Carl and Kay moved to Kearney.
Carl was always busy doing some sort of projects — remodeling a house, planting trees, building a house, woodworking, tearing down a tree … he was never one to allow the grass to grow under his feet! He was known to always enjoy his morning coffee groups and always readily had a cold beer available at the end of the day. Carl spent countless hours helping Michael, Brad and all of their friends work on and restore old cars. Even Michelle could not escape learning the basics of car maintenance … Carl was known to grab a beer and a lawn chair and coach her in oil changes, brakes, belts and more. Carl enjoyed hunting, tubing the river, and attending the Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque.
Kay Lynn was the greatest love of Carl’s life. They were soulmates, partners and a team in everything they did. She passed away on April 15, 2015, at Kearney Regional Medical Center. He dedicated several years prior to her death caring for her and he missed her terribly after her passing.
Carl is survived by a son and daughter-in-law, Michael and Louise Wells and their children, Carson and Leesa Wells of Albuquerque, N.M., and Lauren Wells of Bethesda, Md.; a son and daughter-in-law, Brad and Julie Wells and their children, Heather and Randy Shotkoski, Courtney and Clay Retzlaff of Palmer, and Colton of Kearney; a daughter, Michelle (Wells) Belitz, and her children, Robert of Aurora, and Christina and David Berney of Wolbach. Also surviving are Carl’s pride — the great-grandchildren, Owen, Archer and Easton Shotkoski; Blair KayLynn Retzlaff; Colin, Serenity and Cooper Berney. Carl also leaves behind a nephew and his wife, Dean and Gail McWilliams of Batesville, Ark; two sisters-in-law and a brother-in-law, Cheryl and Larry Moody of Chandler, Ariz., and Shelia Dickes of Phoenix, Ariz.; as well as numerous other family and friends.
He was preceded in death by wife, Kay Lynn; a sister, Dorlea, and her husband, Derry McWilliams; his parents, Lee and Marion (Cole) Wells; and a grand-daughter, Kelsey Lynn Belitz.
For those who wish, in lieu of flowers, a Memorial Fund will be established with the American Cancer Society.