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Richard Wells

Obituary of Richard Norman Wells

WELLS - Richard Norman “Dick” Age 101, died on Tuesday, December 29, 2020. He was the beloved husband for 62 years of the late Josephine (Swiatek) Wells, until her death in 2010. Richard was born to Ella Mae (Cooper) and Clyde Wells on November 13, 1919, in Buffalo, New York. He was predeceased by his brother Robert and sister, Margaret Herneisey. Richard served in the Army Air Corp during World War II. He boxed during the service and won a boxing championship while stationed in St. Petersburg, Florida. In 1944, while on furlough in New York City, he won a jitterbug dancing contest. Dick worked for over 60 years as a member of the Local 17 Operating Engineers Union. He was considered one of the best “bulldozer” men on the construction jobs. Dick was competitive in everything he did. He enjoyed all the sports. It was common to see him top off a ringer on the horseshoe court, hit the winning run on the baseball field, make a putt to take a hole on the golf course, and bowl a string of strikes to win the match. He thoroughly enjoyed the thrill of winning! A consummate entertainer with exaggerated stories and antics, Dick was a crowd pleaser no matter where he went. Richard was survived by his children, Elaine (Jim) Fazio of West Hartford, Connecticut and San Diego, California, Mike (Nancy) of Stow, Massachusetts, and Beverly Wells of St. Petersburg, Florida; he was a playful grandfather to ten grandchildren and thirteen great-grandchildren. In 2018, Ancestry DNA revealed surprising news that Richard was also the father of Frank Pitts, who was adopted in North Carolina, in 1946. They met for the first time in 72 years that same summer. Frank (Janet) of Richmond, Virginia, joined the family to celebrate Dick’s 100th birthday the following year. Richard found his faith caring for his wife during her final years through the outreach of St. Amelia Church and the spiritual guidance of Nancy’s mother, Marian Burns, a Third Order Carmelite. Dick started attending St. Bartholomew’s Anglican Church where he felt welcomed and blessed by Father Ward and the parishioners. Dick was also very grateful for the friendship, kindness and attention from his neighbors on Werkley Rd., Tonawanda where he resided for over 65 years. Due to Covid-19, a Memorial Mass will be held at later date. Arrangements by LOMBARDO FUNERAL HOME (Northtowns Chapel). Please share condolences with the family online at www.lombardofuneralhome.com.