By The Mercury

Richard Clinton Wells II, 69, of Los Angeles, died Friday, March 7, 2014, after a lengthy illness.

The family provided some of the following information.

He was born March 17, 1944, in Manhattan, the son of Richard C. and Bess M. (Swenson) Wells. He graduated Manhattan High School in 1962 and Kansas State University in 1966.

After high school, Richard worked for his father, a well-respected attorney and judge in Manhattan.

He was involved in First Methodist Church activities and events, and served as lay minister for rural community churches in the district.

Richard studied at United Methodist School of Theology in Claremont, Calif., serving two years as student pastor. He was proud of his leadership in the Reconciling Congregation movement where he served as certified lay speaker and as pastor’s assistant at Hollywood United Methodist Church in California. His career was in the field of Special Education and Educational Therapy.

While living in Southern California, Richard kept strong ties to Kansas. He organized and contributed to family reunions, loved his Swedish heritage and always had a family story to tell. He was jovial and loved to laugh. In declining health since the 1990s, Richard appreciated the care of Enrique Sanchez, and was delighted to become a “grandpa” upon the arrival of Enrique’s daughter, Katelyn.

Richard was preceded in death by his parents and his soul mate, Georgia, with whom he shared a love of theater, cinema, nostalgic music and opera.

He is survived by foster son, Enrique Sanchez, wife Aldercy, and daughter, Katelyn, of Los Angeles; cousins, Lorna Newby and Linda Pugh of Eskridge, Dale Swenson of Hannibal, Mo., Jean Ann Newlun of Lincoln, Neb., Jack Martin of Weatherford, Texas, and Vivian Martin-Skidmore of Topeka; his beloved dog, Zorra; and numerous family members and friends.

Graveside services will be held at Dwight Cemetery at 10 a.m. Tuesday, June 24. Memorial donations in Richard’s memory may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association. They may be sent in care of Penwell-Gabel Funeral Home, PO Box 273, Council Grove, KS 66846.

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