John Franklin Wells, 93, of Westerville, died January 5, 2019 following a short illness. John was born January 29, 1925, in South Bend, Indiana, the only child of Rev. Dr. S.A. and Elnora (Lehr) Wells. He graduated from Southside High School in Fort Wayne, Indiana and started college at Indiana Central but was drafted—not what he had in mind at the time. John served in Germany with the Fourth Armored Division of Patton’s Third Army. After the war he resumed his education at Otterbein University, graduating with a BA in English, followed by a MA in Psychology from Bowling Green State University, and a Master of Divinity from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio. He returned to Otterbein to teach Psychology and Religion for six years. After further graduate work in Psychology at The Ohio State University, he accepted a position with Science Research Associates, an educational publisher. John capped his professional life as the psychologist for the Franklin County Municipal Court, from which he retired in 1992. John married Mary Cay Carlson, a fellow Otterbein student, on June 11, 1948 in Lorain, Ohio.
John was an active member of the United Methodist Church of the Master in Westerville, where he taught an adult Sunday School class for 40 years, sang in the choir and served as a Stephen Minister. He and Mary Cay were privileged to go on several Volunteers In Mission trips, their favorite way to travel, including to Alaska, Haiti and South Africa. A man of diverse talents, John enjoyed designing and making wooden toys for young children. He had a life-long affinity for drama, having written multiple skits and short plays for special worship services and several in Readers’ Theater format presented by and for fellow residents of Friendship Village Columbus. He was especially pleased that one full-length play was published and performed multiple times. Several of his poems were recognized at Leading Age competitions. At age 92 he memorized and presented an hour of Mark Twain stories, in full costume, for friends and fellow residents. He will be remembered for his quick wit, sense of humor—and his penchant for an occasional foray “outside the box.”
John was predeceased by his parents and is survived by Mary Cay, his wife of 70 years, and children Kay Landis, Gwen (Rex) Blair and Philip (Chris) Wells, grandchildren Jennifer (Curt) Garrett, Ben (Lainie) Landis, Kathryn (Josh) Compton, Bryan (Terah) Smith, Drew (Lindsay) Smith and Robert Blair, great-grandchildren Katlynn Bell Chanthachak, Alexander and Charlotte Landis, Cal and Max Garrett, Owen and Ajay Smith. The family will receive friends from 4 to 6 pm Thursday, January 10 at Hill Funeral Home, 220 South State Street, Westerville. A Celebration of Life will be at 11 am at Church of the Master, 24 North Grove Street, Rev. Anna Guillozet officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be sent to NNEMAP Food Pantry Treasurer, P.O. Box 10614, Columbus, OH 43201, House of Hope, 825 Dennison Avenue, Columbus, OH 43201, Faith Mission, 500 W. Wilson Bridge Road Ste. 245, Worthington, OH 43085 or to Church of the Master.