Cover photo for Ronald "Mike" Michael Wells's Obituary
Ronald "Mike" Michael Wells Profile Photo
1942 Ronald "Mike" 2021

Ronald "Mike" Michael Wells

March 17, 1942 — April 8, 2021

We’ve been tasked with writing a summation to honor a man who lived life so fully that the confines of this small obituary are inadequate. We think everyone would agree this would have been best written by Mike himself, but it appears to be the one and only detail he didn’t attend to before his next adventure. 

Ronald Michael Wells (Mike Wells) passed on April 8th, 2021. Mike was the definition of a renaissance man. An accomplished inventor, artist, gardener, fabricator, chef and adventurer, he spent every moment connecting himself to the world around him through his art, his relationships great and small, his generosity, and his love of the natural world. To all he was known as witty, generous, clever and kind. To countless people he was a trusted friend and mentor and to a very lucky few, he was family. 

Mike was born March 17th, 1942 in Mineral Wells to Clarence Wells Sr. and Lela Oaxie Harris. For his entire life, he was affectionately called “The Baby” by his siblings, Iris Louise Bianchi, Clarence Wells, Jr. and Dot Shaw, since he was born more than 17 years after the youngest of them. Mike attended kindergarten only to walk home that first day, gathered his RC Cola bottle topped with a nipple and proclaimed to his Mom that school made him “nervous” and he wasn't going back! That set the stage for years of living life on his own terms, through hijinks and adventures too numerous to mention.

He attended the University of North Texas and graduated with a degree in Industrial Arts in 1964. There he met his best friend and love for life, Mary Leanne Gordon (Leanne). They married on November 20th, 1965, just four days prior to his deployment to Vietnam, where he served his country honorably as a US Army helicopter pilot in the Mekong Delta region with the T-Bird gun team. He continued to serve as a helicopter instructor pilot at Fort Wolters in Mineral Wells until 1968. 

In 1968 Mike and Leanne bought raw land south of Mineral Wells that he had surveyed while flying over in a helicopter, and he began to build another love of his life; his homestead. He crafted a home, welding shop, lake and gardens, all imbued with his unique personal touch. Over the years with care and hard work he created a sanctuary that still embraces his family and friends. 

Mike and Leanne had three children who never caused them a bit of trouble. Penny Lea was born in 1971, and very soon after came twins, Edward and Jon. There are seven much-loved grandchildren (Hank, Joe, Oliver, Bin, Oaxie, Roxie, and Elliott), Jon’s late wife Tracy, Edward’s wife Ginny, and Penny’s husband Chris, who could often be found some 30 feet off the ground in Mike’s backhoe bucket putting the finishing touches on one of Mike’s important projects. Mike and Leanne traveled the world together, both far and wide; from a beloved place on the Llano River in central Texas, to scuba diving in far off places around the world. Friends they met became family, because to know Mike was to love Mike. He reliably kept friends entertained with simple witty remarks. Once asked, “Mike you’ve traveled all over the world and have had the opportunity to drink a lot of different beers.  What is the best beer you have ever had?”  Mike responded, “Well, I am the wrong person to ask because the worst beer I ever had was wonderful.”

In 2000, Mike pursued his dreams and established his own business in metal fabrication and artwork. His passion was creating beautiful artistic pieces of mixed metals with chemical patinas and painting. Beyond art Mike loved restoring, repairing, revitalizing anything, especially if it was unwanted. 

Although he left us heartbroken to have to say goodbye, there’s no doubt it could be truly said, “Mike had a life well lived.” We promise to keep a close eye on the level of the lake and will watch the horizon hoping for clouds whenever it’s low. 

A celebration of Mike’s life will be held this Fall. 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ronald "Mike" Michael Wells, please visit our flower store.


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