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Harold A. Wells

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“With sympathy during this very difficult time. ”
1 of 2 | Posted by: Ladd-Turkington & Carmon Funeral Home - CT

2 of 2 | Posted by: KELLEY - OH

Harold A. "Pete" Wells, 86, of Vernon, beloved husband of Patricia (Connor) Wells, passed away on Dec. 22, 2016. Pete was born July 18, 1930, in Hubbardston, MA to the late George W. and F. Ella (Stone) Wells. He grew up in Hubbardston during the depression and developed a fascination for all types of motorized vehicles as well as an aptitude for repairing them. He was especially fond of his bicycle powered by a tiny Whizzer gasoline engine and spent countless hours riding and repairing it. When he was 16 he rode his "motor bike" from Hubbardston some 55 miles to the Eastern States Expo., in West Springfield, MA. The bike broke down on the return trip but he was able to hitch hike home and return another day for his beloved bike. Always having an adventurous spirit, he began taking flying lessons during his 16th year but regrettably never continued. As was the case for most males in his family, Pete answered his country's call of duty. He enlisted in the Mass. National Guard prior to graduation from Worcester Boys Trade High School in 1949, where he trained as a machinist. In 1950, Pete enlisted in the U.S. Army at the start of the Korean War. He brought his love of auto mechanics to Uncle Sam and found that he had a knack for not only fixing big machines, but operating them as well. He ranked at or near the top in several of his heavy equipment training classes. After faithfully serving our country during war time by building air strips in such places as Okinawa and Kimpo Airbase in Seoul South Korea, Pete was honorably discharged in 1953, with the rank of staff sergeant. Shortly after that, a work opportunity led him to East Hartford, CT where he began his 36 year career as a production machinist for Pratt and Whitney Aircraft. On several occasions Pete won awards for suggesting improvements to machining and manufacturing processes. In 1975, his picture was featured on a motivational poster that hung on the wall of his dept. at P&W and following that, found a home on his basement wall where it has survived these 41 years, slightly worse for wear. It was at P&W where he met Pat Connor who worked in the Production Engineering File Dept. They fell in love and were married on Aug. 4th, 1958. They moved to Heidi Drive in Vernon in 1961, where they raised Jim and Steve. For many years Pete also worked a second job at Manchester Memorial Hospital, in the Environmental Services Department. When they were older, both boys worked part time at the hospital with Pete. As if they didn't learn it at home, Pete made sure his boys knew what it meant to have a good work ethic. At home he always performed his own auto and home repairs and would never turn away someone looking for help with car trouble. Despite his busy work schedule, Pete made time for his family and had many hobbies including beer making, coin collecting, gardening, and amateur "ham" radio, which he began in the early1960's with the call sign K1UAG. He continued actively with ham radio into his late 70's, by which time many of his closest contacts as well as his beloved brother Frank, K1NPA, had passed on. He and Pat especially enjoyed camping with friends and family throughout the U.S and Canada. Prior to owning a travel trailer, they rented a cottage and tented for many years on a lake near Skowhegan, Maine, close to Pat's roots. A small motorboat used for water skiing and camping equipment transport became part of the traveling show in 1971 which resulted in expanding the travel base to trips throughout New England although visiting family in Jackman, The Forks and Skowhegan, Maine was always on the itinerary. Pete was well loved by all the Maine relatives and he returned yearly as he truly enjoyed the time spent there. When a travel trailer was bought in the mid 70's, the trips grew far beyond the boat & tent excursions throughout New England. Countless trips were logged to Florida, Tennessee, and Missouri. Only once did Pete entertain the idea of jet travel, when in 1978 he brought the family to Disney World for Christmas vacation. It was enjoyable, but he always preferred to haul around his home on wheels. In May of 1993 Pat and Pete embarked on an 18, 000 mile cross country trip of a life time throughout the U.S., Canada, and much of Alaska, including a cruise of the inside passage. Despite all their travels, Pete's most anticipated trip every year for many years was to Junie and Clara's campground party in Hubbardston, MA on Labor Day weekend, the highlight of which was enjoying the delicious stew crafted by good friend Joe Badeau. For many years Pete's homemade peanut butter ice cream was also highly anticipated by the attendees of the Labor Day party and although both the featured cooks have passed on, loved ones have kept the culinary traditions alive. Pete is survived by Pat, his wife and adventure companion of 58 years, son Jim and his wife Karin of South Glastonbury, son Steve and his wife Nancy of Tolland, grandchildren Christopher of Middletown, Lindsay, and Alex of South Glastonbury, Sisters Flora Kennedy of Higginsville, MO, Ruth Morain of Pensacola, FL, Clara Wead and her husband Raymond Jr. of Hubbardston, MA, and several nephews and nieces. Besides his parents, he was predeceased by his grandson Brian, brother Frank, and brother Allen. He was known as Harold to his mother and siblings, but Pete to most others. Harold A. "Pete" Wells truly had a humble, kind, and generous spirit. He was surrounded by love until his time of passing and will be sorely missed by all who had the good fortune of knowing him. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to a charity of donor's choice. Calling hours are being held at