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1939 Stephen Harold Wells 2024

Stephen Harold Wells

December 18, 1939 — February 11, 2024

Kansas City, Missouri

Stephen Harold Wells, 84, passed away on February 11, 2024, in Kansas City, Missouri at his residence due to heart issues.  He was born on December 18, 1939 in Colorado Springs, CO, to John James Wells and Joan Heckenlively.  He was preceded in death by his mother and father, sisters Mary Ellen Titus, Ruth Rasnic, and his brother Richard Wells.  

He married Patricia Ruth Wilhite on May 28, 1961. They met at Raney drugstore when he asked Patty to make him a root beer milkshake.  They were married almost 63 years! He was survived by his wife and three children: Stephen H. Wells Jr. (Tamara) of Layton, Utah;  Sonya Hefter (Paul) of Bloomington, IL;  and Jarrod Wells of Kansas City, MO. He was also a proud grandpa to 11 grandchildren:  Marjaneh S. Ghasemi; Amir E. Ghasemi (April); Trey M. Ryan (Tiffany); Stephen H. Wells III;  Parisa A. Ghasemi (Justin); Donald C. Ryan “Chris” (Krista); Nadia (Nick) Stenerson; Hayley (Cody) Wells; Mitchel (Taylor) Wells; Mason Hefter; and Lacy Hefter.  And 8 great-grandchildren:  Esmeralda Sanchez, Emiliano Sanchez, Elsa Sanchez, Eliseo Sanchez, Elvis Sanchez, Ehsan Ghasemi, Kaden Ryan, and Cameron Ryan.  He also leaves behind a very special sister-in-law, Sandra Kay Teeter and a dear friend Michelle “Shellybelly” Taylor.

After graduating high school in 1957, Steve joined the Navy and served almost 10 years as an AMS2 (Aviation Structural Mechanic, Petty Officer 2nd Class).  He was in a Helicopter Combat Support unit which included two wartime deployments to Vietnam.  After his military service, Steve worked for over 30 years at TWA, retiring in 1997. While working at TWA, he provided his painting talents and did most of the painting of the 1976-1977 restoration of the Stearman Northrop-Alpha airplane.  His name is on a plaque that he and less than two dozen men helped restore that proudly hangs in the Smithsonian Institute of Technology in Washington D.C. After his retirement from TWA, Steve worked as a bus driver for Laidlaw for over 13 years where he loved being called “Mr. Bus Driver”.  He still knew all of his old school bus routes and enjoyed dressing up for Halloween for his bus riders.

Steve had a wide variety of hobbies and activities over the years, but his favorite activity was sharing the lake with family and friends for almost 38 years,  He enjoyed teaching his grandkids how to fish and just cruising around Lake Waukomis in the pontoon boat pointing out all of the best fishing spots. The 4th of July festivities with watermelon races, pancake breakfasts, and watching the fireworks from the pontoon boat were special highlights for Steve.  He also made the best waffles and blueberry pancakes.

Tuesdays were special because it was Taco Tuesday!  Steve, Patty, and Jarrod had a long running unbroken streak of eating tacos at Rancho Grande Cantina in Parkville, MO. 

Steve could build or fix about anything.  For many years he enjoyed building and flying Radio Control Airplanes.  He was also a ham radio operator and worked all states in 1977.  Steve was talented musician and could play a variety of instruments by ear.  He enjoyed many activities in his lifetime: golf, bowling, motorcycling, metal detecting , playing cards, snow skiing, reading, and he was a graceful roller skater.  Steve was a long time Chiefs fan.  He sadly missed watching the Chiefs win the Super Bowl on February 11, 2024 by just a few hours.  He was really looking forward to the big game.

If you knew Steve, then you’ve probably heard some of these phrases over the years:  “Watch your 6”,  “Keep your head on a swivel”, “Ramming speed”,  “Talk at cha later“,  “Do you want some waffles?”,  “Let me grab my fishing pole, then we’ll head out.”,  “We’re gonna have a gully-washer— I hope it fills the lake”, “We really need rain, but it just keeps missing us”,  “You got a good one there!”, “We were sure slaying the bass today”,  “Let’s check those tires before you leave”, “Let me get those bugs cleaned off your windshield”, and “Sweet baby grandma”.

The hardest thing Steve faced in his life was dealing with his wife’s dementia the past 3 1/2 years.  He was always looking for a cure to “fix her brain”.  He became inpatient and could not deal with everything that the disease did to her.  But he did the best he could, checking her blood sugar, feeding, clothing, and bathing her.  He just wanted her back to being his “sweet baby grandma”.

Per his wishes, Steve was cremated.  His ashes will be interred at the Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Colorado Springs, CO. A private ceremony will be held at a later date.
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