Robert “Bob” Martin Wells, age 58, passed away in the arms of his Saviour at his home near Norton on Sunday, March 1st. Bob lost a long, hard fight to cancer but was ready to see Jesus and all his loved ones who preceded him in death.
Bob was born in Bronte, Texas on August 22, 1950 to James and Quincy Wells. At birth Bob only weighed 3 pounds and his mom had severe seizures. The doctor told James that he just didn’t believe either would live. Well, God had a different plan for both of them. Bob lived the first 17 years of his life in Bronte, but then graduated in 1968 from San Saba High School where he met his life-long friend Chuck Little.
Bob’s devotion and love of music helped him to win a scholarship to East Texas State University (now Texas A & M Commerce). His great joy during those years was playing the tuba in the marching band. He graduated in 1971 with a degree in Communications and Sociology. Bob’s first job after college was at KMOM television station in Odessa. While working there he was the primary writer, producer and sometimes actor for local commercials. He was director of Continuity. The true calling for his professional life soon occurred when he quit the television market and became a Social Worker for the Ward County Mental Health Center. His desire to help the mentally ill was a lifelong passion.
In 1974, Bob returned to ETSU and graduated with a master’s degree in Guidance and Counseling in 1975. He immediately went to work at Rusk State Hospital as a social worker for the next five years.
In 1980, having felt some “burn-out” from practicing as a social worker, he decided that a nursing degree could afford him many more opportunities for caring for others.
Bob attended Angelo State University and while there met the “love of his life” Kathy Holik. On Friday, May 14th he graduated, then on May 15th, Bob and Kathy married in her parents’ home.
The greatest joy of Bob’s life was his daughter Elizabeth who was born in 1987. Bob was truly a “hands-on” father who always had time for his daughter. He loved to read to her, play games, and taught her the fine aspects of playing baseball among trees! When she was 3, he built her a playhouse, and the two of them spent many hours sitting up in their little house “sipping” tea and playing “exciting” games of Go Fish and Candyland! He taught her to see beauty in life and people. He saw beauty in every living being. Bob also loved traveling and thoroughly enjoyed showing Elizabeth and Kathy many beautiful sites.
From 1984 until his retirement in 2006, Bob worked at various MHMR facilities in Terrell and Cleburne. Once again he worked hard and diligently to assure through Quality Improvement measures, that all mentally ill clients were treated with the utmost care and respect.
Bob’s last few years were spent as a claims investigator for the Dept. of State Health Services. Two weekends a month he also worked as a hospice nurse in an inpatient facility in Fort Worth. He always came home saying that the work with these patients was the most rewarding of his life. How ironic that he became a hospice patient, but he was very grateful for their loving, tender care.
Bob was always known for his friendly smile. No one was a stranger to him. Whenever he entered any building he immediately greeted each person and said “Hi, how are you?” When visiting retirement or nursing homes, he never missed going from each resident one by one and greeting them and having conversations with them, even though he knew very few of these precious people.
Towards the end of his fight with cancer, Bob was blessed and thankful to walk his precious daughter, Elizabeth down the aisle to her wonderful husband Michael. Bob truely had two children upon his death, Elizabeth and Michael.
Survivors include his devoted parents, James (Andy) and Quincy Wells of Goldthwaite; his wife, of 26 years, Kathy; beloved daughter, Elizabeth and son-in-law, Michael King of San Angelo.