John M. Wells

  • Born: July 21, 1938
  • Died: July 11, 2017
  • Location: Battle Creek, Michigan

Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home & Cremation Care

105 Capital Ave NE
Battle Creek, MI 49017

Tel. (269) 962-5527

Tribute & Message From The Family

John M. Wells, 78

John Melville Wells passed away peacefully on July 11, 2017, surrounded by family and friends at Bronson Battle Creek Hospital, after battling long illnesses.

John was born in Cleveland, Ohio to Morse M. and C. Ruth (Osborn) Wells on July 21, 1938. He graduated from Austin Catholic High School, Lawrence Institute of Technology, and Detroit College of Law where he earned his Juris Doctor.

John married Elaine Mary Kluska on May 15, 1965 in Detroit, Michigan. Always a brilliant strategist, their first date was a canoe trip during a chilly Michigan March.

John practiced law in private practice, with land development firms, and in corporate banking in metro Detroit and Kalamazoo. John also won a seat on the Gull Lake School board in the late 1980s and shortly thereafter ruled out a political second career. He retired from Standard Federal Bank, Troy Michigan, as Assistant Vice President. During his career, he did much pro-bono work, focusing on helping families in bankruptcy.

John is survived by Elaine, his beloved wife of 52 years, daughter Jenna Tomalka (Ken) of Battle Creek, grand children Amelia and Eli Tomalka of Battle Creek, Evan Wells of Kansas City, KS, Lily Wells of Kansas City, KS, and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his sisters, Carolyn and Suzanne, and his son David.

John loved hunting and fishing, and the great outdoors. He instilled a love and respect for the outdoors in his children and grandchildren, whether on dozens of camping trips, on his 60 acre farm in Ross Township, his fishing boat in Punta Gorda, Florida, or on Beadle Lake in Emmett Township. John loved to cook and entertain. He was a generous and gracious host and loved nothing more than to have family and friends gathered for a celebration. John was an expert gardener, spending hours tending to his beautiful perennial gardens in Troy and Battle Creek. John loved learning and sharing his vast knowledge whenever he was asked-- which was often since he was just about everyone's go-to "answer guy."

John was a loving husband, father, brother, uncle, grandfather and friend, and will be celebrated with a Mass of Christian Burial on Saturday, August 19th at 1:00 p.m. at St. Philip Roman Catholic Church with Father John D. Fleckenstein, Celebrant. Donations can be sent to Leukemia Lymphoma Society of Michigan. Arrangements by the Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home & Cremation Care. Personal messages for the family may be placed at