Rev. Oliver “Gene” Wells

Obituary of Rev. Oliver “Gene” Wells

WELLS, Rev. Oliver “Gene”, 88, Mason, passed away in the Lord on Tuesday, March 26, 2024. The youngest of seven children, he was born on November 10, 1935 to Oliver Clarence and Emma (Thornberry) Wells, in Ashland, KY. Gene graduated from Ashland High School and attended Asbury College (now Asbury University), in Wilmore, KY, graduating with a B.A. degree in Philosophy, followed by a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree from United Theological Seminary, in Dayton, OH. Gene also completed the course work for a Doctor of Ministry (ABD) degree at the Boston University School of Theology in Boston, Massachusetts. Throughout his adult life, he served the Lord as a pastor of the United Methodist Church, dedicating 44 years of full-time ministry and another 23 years of part-time service while in retirement. While a student at Asbury, Gene met and married Kathleen Ann (Clemons) Wells. Together, they had two sons, David and Eric (Rick). Gene and Kathy enjoyed nearly 45 happy years of marriage until her death in 2001, just weeks after Gene’s retirement from full-time ministry. Four years later, he would meet his second wife, Janet (Crist) Wells, whom he married in 2006, sharing 18 joy-filled years of life with her until his sudden death, following a recent hospitalization. As a student, Gene served area churches as a local pastor in Prestonsburg, KY. Upon his ordination, he provided full-time ministry to the following communities of the West Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church: Brandt UMC, Brandt, Spring Valley UMC, Spring Valley, St. Paul UMC, Eaton, Maize Manor UMC, Columbus, Grace UMC, Zanesville, St. Mark UMC, Findlay, and St. Paul Community UMC, in Cincinnati, OH. After a brief period of retirement in Florida, Gene returned to Ohio and offered part-time assistance to Friendship UMC, Wyoming; Groesbeck UMC, Cincinnati; and Brecon UMC, Cincinnati, after which he returned to St. Paul Community UMC, Cincinnati, serving under the pastoral leadership of his son, David. No matter where he lived, Gene was a die-hard fan of UK basketball (Go Wildcats!), Ohio State football (O-H…), and the Cincinnati Reds, for better or worse. He enjoyed sports and played baseball, basketball, and football during his youth. An avid reader, Gene was never found without a book and was always open to new learning, attending workshops and seminars up until the final months of his life on earth. Along with counseling and making pastoral visits to sick or grieving members of the community, Gene enjoyed preaching and teaching Bible study classes and courses on Christian spirituality. Throughout his retirement years, he often said, “I just want to serve the Lord for as long as he lets me.” Gene was preceded in death by his parents, his six siblings, and his first wife, Kathleen. He is survived by his second wife, Janet Wells, of Mason; sons Rev. Dr. David (Catherine) Wells, of Blue Ash; and Deacon Rick (Barbara) Wells, of Seminole, FL; along with three grandchildren: Ryan (Laura) Wells, Garrett Wells, and Courtney (Christopher) Weber; and two great-grandsons: Jonathan Wells and Benjamin Oliver Weber. A Memorial Service for Pastor Wells will be held on Friday, April 5, 2024, 11:00 a.m., at St. Paul Community UMC, 8221 Miami Road, Cincinnati. A reception will follow in the church hall. His remains will be inurned in the columbarium at Hyde Park UMC, Cincinnati, at a later time. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be directed to St. Paul Community UMC or Asbury University. Well done, good and faithful servant…Come and share your master’s happiness (Matthew 25:21, NIV).

Memorial Service

11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Friday, April 5, 2024
St. Paul United Methodist Church
8221 Miami Ave
Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
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Rev. Oliver “Gene”