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Arthur Stanton Wells
January 8, 1931 ~ December 9, 2023 (age 92) 92 Years Old
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Arthur Stanton Wells, Jr., passed away peacefully on December 9th at Maine Medical Center in Portland, Maine. Known as Stan by family, friends, and colleagues, he was born in Kingsport, Tennessee in 1931. From very early youth he spent summers at Christmas Cove in South Bristol, Maine, at a house where his grandfather Capt. Frank B. Wells first resided, and where his father Arthur S. Wells was raised. The house remains in the Wells family to this day. Upon retirement from his business career in 1996, he and his wife of 66 years Ellen B. Wells lived full-time in a home they built on the family property. Stan took great pride in his forebears’ deep roots from the late 1700s in Bristol, Maine and subsequently South Bristol, as well as the family’s long association with the summer community in Christmas Cove.
After two years of high school in Kingsport, Stan attended Phillips Exeter Academy graduating in 1949. He earned a degree in Industrial Management at Yale, Class of 1953. After Yale he served in the U.S. Army at Fort Benning in Georgia and was honorably discharged at the rank of Infantry Sergeant in 1955. Stan was very proud of his service; he carried his discharge card in his wallet until he died. Following the Army Stan earned a Master’s in Business Administration from Harvard Business School, Class of 1957. Far more importantly, while at Harvard Business School he met Ellen Blackburn who was also attending graduate school in Boston, and they were married in 1957.
Stan’s business career began at Eastman Kodak, in Kingsport in 1957, where he moved with Ellen, and where all four of their children were born. In 1966 Stan joined Xerox Corporation in Rochester, New York as a finance manager. Stan was elevated to Treasurer of Xerox in 1969. When Xerox moved its headquarters to Stamford, CT, the family relocated to Wilton, Connecticut, where Stan and Ellen remained until their retirement years. In 1979, Stan left Xerox for Barnes Group, a precision aircraft and automotive component manufacturing company in Bristol, Connecticut. At Barnes he was Executive Vice President for Finance, and later became Chief Executive Officer until his retirement in 1996. He was a member of the Board for Connecticut Bank and Trust from 1984-1990 and the Connecticut Public Expenditure Council from 1990-1993. In retirement Stan served as President of the Christmas Cove Improvement Association from 2003-2005, on the Board of Trustees for Lincoln Academy in Newcastle, Maine from 2002-2010 and was named a Trustee Emeritus in 2011. He was also Phillips Exeter Academy, Class of 1949 Vice President from 2004-2008 and President from 2008 until he died.
Stan and Ellen enjoyed a long and very happy retirement of almost 30 years together. Returning to fly fishing as an avocation instilled in him by his father in the Smoky Mountains, Stan and Ellen traveled extensively to remote fishing destinations abroad, primarily in New Zealand, as well as Chile, Argentina, and Nova Scotia. Likewise, they made fishing trips to the North Woods and other parts of Maine. However, Stan and Ellen derived the most pleasure and adventure sailing their Bermuda 40 yawl Nepenthe for over 30 years. Starting during their working careers and carrying into Stan’s early 80s, Stan and Ellen put thousands of sea miles under Nepenthe’s keel from Long Island Sound, the Maine Coast and beyond, including New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, as well as Chesapeake Bay. He also continued to voraciously read history, especially accounts of the military, social, and political impact of the American Civil War and World War I. His expertise in this area was worthy of a PhD. But the greatest source of joy and devotion over Stan’s long and eventful life was undoubtedly his family.
He is survived by his loving wife, Ellen Blackburn Wells; his children, Art Wells, Tom Wells, Emily Wells Galluzzo, and Dick Wells; eight grandchildren; and his sister, Margaret Newell.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Coastal Rivers Conservation Trust, PO Box 333, Damariscotta, ME, 04543.
Arrangements are under the direction and care of the Strong-Hancock Funeral Home, 612 Main Street, Damariscotta, ME 04543. Condolences, and messages for his family, may be expressed by visiting: www.StrongHancock.com.