Life Story / Obituary
Jerry Wells was born November 4, 1931 in New York City and grew up in Riverhead, Long Island. It was there that she met John, who would become her husband for 71 years.
After John left the Navy, they moved to Chicago so he could attend Moody Bible Institute and they could prepare to be missionaries. The call to serve overseas never came, but they sensed God’s call to continue working with the teens they were serving at the Austin Wesleyan Methodist Church in Chicago.
After their time in Chicago, they relocated to the western suburbs and Jerry worked in the purchasing office of Wheaton College. In her 26 years there she rose to the level of Director of Purchasing and Risk Management. In this “protector” role, she was amazing at identifying and eliminating problems before they had a chance to bloom.
A lover of beauty, she gardened and wrote poetry for many years and in retirement became a painter of water colors. These she would use to decorate her home and turn them into greeting cards to encourage others and give as gifts.
If there is a word that captures the life of our mother/grandmother it’s redemption. She was personally redeemed by Jesus in her late teens and from that point lived a life of impact. If there was an Olympic event for worrying, mom would have been a ten-time gold medalist! Her perspective was always to be the family guardian; to make sure everything would be okay for everyone else before she considered her own needs. Of course, this made her a wonderful mother for Becki (Dave) Brandt of Lebanon, OH and Steve (Kathy) Wells of Holland, MI and an amazing Gramma to Lelia and Lisa Brandt and AJ (Rayna) Wells and Erika (Keegan) Nixon. She was just starting to hit her stride as great-gramma to Josie Kate Nixon.
In spite of her being such an excellent servant to others she often wondered if it was enough. For people who knew her, learning this will come as a shock because in spite of her feelings, God redeemed this part of her as she turned her concerns into prayer and she had such an impact as a youth leader, boss, and mentor to many. Fifty to 60 years on, she still prayed for and maintained contact with dozens of those teens (who are now in their 70s and 80s!) who she served and they continued seeking her counsel. So many have communicated how great an influence she had on their lives and faith. Some referred to her as their “spiritual mother.”
A woman of great faith, prayer and character, she is now fully redeemed and (in spite of being a Wesleyan) dancing with Jesus.
A memorial service will take place on Saturday, October 28 at 3:00pm at Dykstra Funeral Home - Northwood Chapel. 295 Douglas Ave, Holland.
Visitation will take place prior to the service starting at 1:00pm.