Lockport Union-Sun & Journal
Marie Charlotte Call Wells (11/21/1920-11/11/2013) was born to Robert V. Call and Lucille Hale Call on November 21, 1920 in Batavia, NY. She was the eldest of six siblings to grow up on the family farm on Lewiston Road.
Marie played the trombone in the Batavia High School orchestra and at Cornell in the Big Red Marching Band. Marie graduated in 1942 from the (then new) Journalism program in the College of Agriculture. After graduation she wrote for the Batavia Daily News and Roy Park Advertising as well as other publications. She was a life-long writer who chronicled her life every day for over 70 years in volumes of diaries.
She married Elting H. Wells, her high school sweetheart, in February of 1943. While her husband served in the U.S. Army Air Corps in Europe and endured a nine-month period as a German POW, Marie stayed with her parents on the farm.
After the war, they lived in Columbia, MO, Hartford, CT, and Oswego, Canandaigua, and Lockport, NY. Marie moved to Ithaca, NY, in 2007.
Marie was predeceased by her beloved husband, Elting; by her sister, Elizabeth Kingsley; two brothers-in-law and two sisters-in-law. She is survived by her six children and their spouses - James (Constance) Wells of Lansing, NY, Douglas (Jill) Wells of Richmond, VA, Deborah Wells-Clinton of Lansing, NY, Andrew (Chris) Wells of Danbury, CT, Robert (Connie) Wells of Eastham, MA, and Alice (Darren) Weatherbee of Lockport; as well as 14 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. She is also survived by four of her siblings - Robert V. Call, Jr., Richard Call, David L. Call and Evelyn Brumsted; along with many nieces and nephews, and over three dozen foster children with whom she shared the family home on Akron Road. These included a series of infants whom she cared for from birth until their adoption, young children, and adolescents. There were also foreign exchange students from Uganda, Mexico, Belgium, Australia and Japan. Marie also had a very special "son" in Ephrem Micaiah whom she helped to come to this country from South Sudan.
After the death of her husband in 1982, she began a career as a counselor and teacher with the Dale Association. Marie was very active at Emmanuel United Methodist Church in Lockport, and she also spent many volunteer hours working with the Lockport American Field Service chapter, Niagara Hospice, Habitat for Humanity and Meals on Wheels, among other organizations. When well into her 80s, she trained for and served as an emergency on-call advocate for young rape victims. Marie served as President of the Lockport College Women's Club and on the Board of Directors of Niagara County Co-operative Extension. In 1975 Marie was honored on the first International Woman's Day, and in 2007 she was awarded a volunteer award from the Lockport Rotary Club.
Marie loved classical music and opera, and she shared her appreciation and knowledge with her children and grandchildren, as well as with various community groups. She loved to read and enjoyed books in every genre. She raised and cared for numerous dogs, cats, birds and other creatures. In her later years Marie was grateful to be able to travel extensively, including on Cornell Alumni Tours to the Soviet Union, Kenya, China, and, with some of her sons and grandsons, to the Galapagos Islands. She also visited family in Germany, Egypt, Spain, London, Moscow and Belgium.
Marie was an efficient and tireless manager, caring for and feeding a large brood along with a steady stream of guests from far and near on a very modest budget, often taking advantage of fresh and preserved produce from her large garden and from the farm in Batavia. Even unexpected guests were always welcomed at her table, but sometimes "family go lightly!" was whispered before dinner.
Mostly, Marie was a mother. She loved all, but infants especially. Even in her last years, nothing could make her eyes sparkle like the presence of a small baby. There was always "room for one more," at her table, in her home, and in her heart. Many people, young and old, around the world will miss their "Mom."
There will be a celebration of Marie's life on Saturday, November 23, 2013, at 12:00 at Emmanuel United Methodist Church, 75 East Avenue, Lockport, NY, with a reception following. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that donations in Marie's memory may be sent to Family and Children's Services of Niagara County, Inc. (www.niagarafamily.org) or to Emmanuel United Methodist Church.
Visit www.lockportjournal.com/obituaries for online guest register.