American Veteran 04

Paul Lee Wells

January 10, 1943 ~ September 26, 2023 (age 80) 80 Years Old


                Paul Lee Wells (80), a long time resident and business owner in Whitefish, MT passed away on Sept 26, 2023.  On the saddest day of our lives, we lost our beloved husband, father, grandfather and friend. 

                Paul was born on Jan 10, 1943, a snowy day in Middletown, OH to the late Orville and Gladys Egleston Wells.  He had two brothers, Darrald R. Wells living in Hope Mills, N.C. and Sidney B. Wells who preceded him in death.

                After high school graduation in Kettering, OH and a year attending Sinclair Community College in Dayton, OH, Paul joined the U.S. Army in 1962.  While enlisted, he was with the Green Beret Special Forces stationed in the Panama Canal Zone for three years.  After graduating from officer candidate school, he attended fixed wing flight school earning his commercial pilot license. 

                Paul spent two tours in Vietnam.  His first tour was with the 1st Engineer Battalion (better known as the Big Red One) as a combat engineer.  His second tour was spent as a pilot flying O-1 Birddogs and OV-1 Mohawks. 

Paul was highly decorated during his time in service and was honorably discharged in 1973.  Afterwards, he attended the University of Missouri – Rolla, earning degrees in Civil Engineering and Engineering Management.  

He was hired as the sole engineer for the entire Jari rice project owned by Daniel K. Ludwig on the Amazon River in Brazil.  Not only did he have to design the seed rice plant and rice mill, but all the infrastructure of the town of Sao Raimundo. 

After completing this project, Paul and his family moved to Whitefish when he was hired as the City Engineer in 1980.  He then decided to start his own consulting engineering firm and WMW Engineering opened for business on Feb 14, 1983 where he remained until he retired in 2019.

Paul was an active member of the Rotary Club of Whitefish for many years as well as Pheasants Forever and the Moose Lodge.  He was still a proud member of the Quiet Birdmen. 

Paul was also an avid outdoorsman and enjoyed MT life to the fullest.  With family and friends he was often busy hiking, fishing, hunting, camping, rafting/boating, biking, skiing or flying.  His hobbies also included building full size airplanes and he was able to complete three from start to finish over the years.  As a dedicated and loving father, he ensured that he always involved his children in the activities he loved or was supporting them in the activities they loved.       

Paul is survived by his loving and devoted wife Carolyn Bozeman Wells, whom he married July 9, 1968 in Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii.  He is also survived by three cherished children and two grandchildren – daughters Tonya L. Wells (Rory Barton), Oak Park, IL and Cristy L. Wells (Scott Fell), Columbia Falls, MT, son Evan S. Wells, Whitefish, MT, grandchildren Nya Barton Wells and Calder Barton Wells, Oak Park, IL.  Besides his brother Darrald R. Wells (Diane), Hope Mills, NC, he is survived by an aunt and uncle and several wonderful cousins, nieces and nephews.  He also leaves behind many amazing and loyal friends.

All who were fortunate enough to know Paul, both family and friends, will forever remember his great sense of humor and quick wit.  He brought so much joy and laughter to our lives and we’ll miss him immensely. 

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