James “Bud” Wells, 94, was called to mercifully take his place among family and friends who have passed before him. Bud died peacefully at home on April 6, 2020. He was born Jan. 18, 1926 in Donora, Pennsylvania, to James Playford Wells and Annie Elsie Gray.
Immediately after graduating from Donora High School, Bud, like many of his buddies, joined in the fight of World War II. He joined the Navy and was stationed aboard the USS Sitka (APA-113) and served as a pilot of a troop landing craft from the attack transport. On D-Day he made numerous trips between the shores of Normandy and the Sitka, ferrying many brave men to the beaches and the front lines. He spent the rest of his life as a very proud veteran and was carefully guarded of what he experienced during those times.
Coming home to Donora, Bud took a job as a bricklayer in the steel mills of U.S. Steel, primarily layering bricks inside the giant kilns. It was while working for the mills that he met who would become the love of his life, his best friend for life and his wife all in one all in one special person. Bud married Beryl Jean Compton, the boss’s daughter from up on the hill, Jan. 17, 1948. While still residing in Donora, they had their two children, Kristine and Timothy.
After the closing of the mill, Bud moved his family to Lenox where he was head of maintenance for the Lenox School for Boys. Reunions for the school tell many, many stories about Bud and Beryl opening their campus home to the boys to watch television, play games and socialize in the warm settings they provided. It was at the school Bud developed a love of hockey that led him to be a manager of not only Lenox School teams but later for the High Lawn Jerseys, a semi-pro team from Lenox.
After Lenox School closed and became Bordentown School, Bud remained for a bit but moved on to take a job as a shipping assembler for Lenox Machine until 1988, when he could not resist his neverending urge to just travel and to play golf every day that he possibly could. He retired and fulfilled both those urges the best he could. He was an avid Boston sports fan: it didn’t matter which Boston team was playing, one could find him watching them on television.
A deeply religious man who grew up attending St. John’s Episcopal Church in Donora, he carried that faith with him through the war years and to Lenox, where he served through faithfully St. Helena’s Chapel and Trinity Episcopal Church. He also had a special gift of working with his hands in wood. Using knowledge and tools passed by his father, Bud crafted many pieces of furniture that he shared with every member of his family.
Bud is survived by his best friend and wife, Beryl; by his daughter, Kristine Warfield (Donald) and their daughters Sara Ordyna (Dennis), Nora Tassone (Aaron) and Keri Kelley (Joseph); by his son, Timothy Wells; and also by his great-grandchildren Quinn Ordyna, Joseph Tassone, Theodore Kelley and Avery Tassone. Bud was predeceased by his parents, sisters Dorothy Wells and Lillian Wells Hall; and great-grandson Conrad Kelley.
Out of concern for those who might attend during this pandemic, there will be no calling hours. A graveside service for family is planned for this week and a public memorial service at Trinity Church will be at a later date. The family is so grateful to Heidi and Mountain View Services and HospiceCare in the Berkshires for all they did to help the family through these times. They were all a blessing to the family, who so appreciate their care and compassion. Also, a special thank you is given to the Lenox Volunteer Fire Department and Lenox Police Department for their assistances.Bud’s favorite charity and one that he supported through the years is the Jimmy Fund. In lieu of flowers, donations in his name may be made to the Jimmy Fund or any worthwhile cause that would benefit individuals caught up in these difficult times. To share memories and stories, visit rochefuneralhome.com.