Clara Elizabeth “Lee” Wells, 89, passed away at her home in O’Brien, Fla., on Sunday, Sept. 2, 2012.
She was born to Harriette Morgan (McLean) and Benjamin Alexander Lee in Kokomo, Miss., on July 16, 1923.
Elizabeth grew up and graduated from high school in Fort Meade, Fla.
In 1942 she married Robert “Bob” Leonard Wells from O’Brien, with whom she had three children; Harriette Ann, John Robert and Richard Leonard.
After graduating from Massey Business College in Atlanta, Ga., in 1957, Lee and Bob bought a Motorola Service Station, Television-Electronics Co., dba Atlanta Communications Company, which she continued to run after his unexpected death in 1964. In addition to being a successful business woman and entrepreneur, for many years, Ms. Wells held leadership positions in the following organizations: Business and Professional Women of Atlanta; Business and Professional Women of Ga.; Women’s Chamber of Commerce; Executive Director of the Atlanta Dogwood Festival (1985-1991); U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Co-founder of Southeastern Motorola Service Stations Association.; High Watch/ Mentor and trustee of The Prosperos, Los Angeles, Calif.
A loving and generous person, Ms. Wells found great satisfaction in helping others achieve success. She loved to garden, to travel, to swim and to dance, especially to Dixieland jazz.
She was a Methodist and a Democrat.
In 2005, Ms. Wells moved from Atlanta to her property in O’Brien, Suwannee County, Fla.
For many years, she continued her lifelong passion for reading and enjoyed watching the birds in her garden. Always appreciating a good joke, she often entertained listeners by reciting poems and old “sayings,” especially ones “her daddy used to tell.”
Ms. Wells was preceded in death by her husband; son, Richard; and youngest brother, Malcolm M. Lee.
Ms. Wells is survived by her daughter, Harriette Wells (Gefrey) Humphries of O’Brien; son, John R. (Dorothy) Wells of Canton, Ga.; sister, Margaret A. Ward of O’Brien; brother, Benjamin A. (Lucille) Lee of Freeport, Ill.; sister-in-law, Lettie Mae Lee of Pensacola, Fla.; 9 grandchildren, Christina (Todd) Ellis of Hanahan, SC, Jason Wells (Jessie) of Glenwood Springs, Colo., Melody (Wade) Cashwell of O’Brien/St. Augustine, Fla., Josh (Leslie) Wells of Canton, Ga., Richard (Alice) Wells of Murphy, NC, John “Matt” (Lauren) Wells of Astoria, NY, Courtney Wells of Dawsonville, Ga., Jeremy (Whitney) Humphries and Amanda (Albert) Pettingill, of O’Brien; 10 great grandchildren and 17 nieces and nephews.
“Miss Lee” is survived by the women who loved and cared for her over the past six years, as if she were their own “Mama.” Those are Connie Haaf, Kay Springer and Betty Young of Live Oak, Liz Forsyth, Dot London and Kim Ward of O’Brien, and Kyleigh Hand of Jasper. Our family will be eternally grateful to them all for their dedication and support.
Clara “Lee” Wells will be greatly missed by all who knew her.
A memorial celebration of her life was held in Canton, Ga., on Oct. 20 and a local service will be held at her home in O’Brien at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the O’Brien Cemetery Fund, P.O. Box 184, O’Brien, FL, 32071 or to Haven Hospice of North Florida.