Carl Wells, 80, of Kearney passed away peacefully June 14, 2019, in his home surrounded by his family. Services will be June 21 at 10:30 a.m. (Central Time) at Sargent United Methodist Church with burial following at Mount Hope Cemetery in Sargent. Govier Brothers of Broken Bow is handling arrangements. A visitation will be Friday at 8 a.m. until service time at the church. Online condolences can be made at www.govierbrothers.com
In honor of Carl’s memory, there will be a visitation with the family in Kearney at Cunningham’s Journal on the Lake on tonight, June 19, from 5 to 8 p.m.
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 he 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, S.D., and Custer, S.D. 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.
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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 project - 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, N.M.
Kay Lynn was the greatest love of Carl’s life. They were soulmates, partners and a team in everything they did. She passed away 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 son Michael Wells, wife Louise and children Carson (Leesa) of Albuquerque, N.M., and Lauren Wells of Bethesda, Md.; son Brad, wife Julie Wells and children Heather and Randy Shotkoski, Courtney and Clay Retzlaff of Palmer, and Colton of Kearney.; daughter Michelle (Wells) Belitz, and children Robert of Aurora and Christina and David Berney of Wolbach.; and Carl's pride - the great-grandchildren Owen, Archer and Easton Shotkoski; Blair KayLynn Retzlaff; Colin, Serenity and Cooper Berney.
Carl leaves behind a nephew Dean McWilliams and his wife Gail of Batesville, Ark.; sisters-in-law Cheryl (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, sister Dorlea and her husband Derry McWilliams, parents Lee and Marion (Cole) Wells and a granddaughter Kelsey Lynn Belitz.
For those that wish, in lieu of flowers, a Memorial Fund will be established with the American Cancer Society.