Shirley Joan (Holm) Wells, 97, of Lincoln, Nebraska, passed away peacefully on April 13, 2022. Thank you to all the kind caregivers from Tabitha Hospice and CCA Home Care, friends from Southern Heights Presbyterian Church, and other special friends and family who provided help, hope and reassurance when it was needed in the last months of her life.
Shirley was born June 27, 1924, in Wright County, Iowa, to Edwin and Minnie (Espe) Holm. Her family moved to Howard County, Iowa, in 1934 and farmed near Chester, Iowa. Shirley graduated from the Chester High School class of 1941. After graduation, she left the farm work forever behind her, and went to work in Austin, MN. Following a short courtship, she boarded the train, alone, headed to New Mexico, to meet her fiancé and become Mrs. Stanley Wells. They met in Iowa, but wed in the base chapel at Roswell Army Airfield on June 8, 1945. It was the beginning of a long, adventurous and joyous married life.
Shirley and Stan moved throughout the Midwest and Southwest states frequently over the next 23 years before coming to Lincoln, Nebraska in 1968. They raised four children over that time. They spent their retirement years together in Fairfield Bay, Arkansas. Shirley returned to Lincoln in 2013, several years after Stan passed, to join family.
Shirley liked to travel and was able to visit most of the states across the U.S. while accompanying Stan for business conventions or cheering on the Nebraska Cornhusker’s football team in away games. Together, they enjoyed international travel as well. Favorite trips included Norway and Denmark with siblings and spouses to explore their heritage, and a cruise through the Panama Canal. International volunteer opportunities offered a variety of experiences, including a helicopter ride over the mountains of the Philippines, seeding the bare slopes with trees in the Rain Tree Program.
Shirley was an active volunteer in church as a long-time member of St. Paul United Methodist Church in Lincoln, and Fairfield Bay United Methodist Church. She was a member of Southern Heights Presbyterian Church since 2013. She was also a fifty-year member of Beta Sigma Phi, a social and cultural organization, which includes many community service activities.
Shirley was devoted to family, friends, church and community. She shared that love and passion with her husband of 61 years. They were especially proud of the legacy they left behind and never missed opportunities to be with family. Together, they truly made a difference in the lives of those they encountered. Shirley will be remembered by acquaintances for her genuine smile and by friends for the good times they shared. Family will remember her for being a caring sister, mother, grandmother, and aunt.
Survivors include children and their families: Iris Wells, Lincoln, NE; Russell (Jill) Wells, Wise, VA; Joanna (Don) Workman, Lincoln, NE; Melissa (Gary) Kluthe, Florence, AZ; eight grandchildren, sixteen great-grandchildren, two great-great-grandchildren. Other survivors include: brother, Richard (Georgia) Holm, Valencia, PA; brother, Roger (Janet) Holm, Clarkston, MI; sister-in-law, Suzanna Wells, Holland, OH; many nieces, nephews and special friends.
Preceded in death by husband, Stanley Wells; parents, Edwin and Minnie Holm; brother, Rowland Holm; sisters and brothers-in-law, Margaret and Robert Freel, Phyllis and Max Leslie; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Creston (Doris) Wells, Harold (Irene) Wells, Eleanor (Roy) Tamm, Wilbur “Bill” (Doris) Wells, Donald (Evelyn) Wells, Alice (Karl) Sidinger.
Memorial services will be held in both Lincoln and Fairfield Bay, Arkansas, in the summer with specifics to be announced later. Inurnment of her ashes will be in Fairfield Bay so that Shirley may be with her husband. Memorials are suggested to: Tabitha Hospice, 4720 Randolph St, Lincoln, NE 68510; Southern Heights Presbyterian Church, 5750 S 40th St, Lincoln, NE 68516; Fairfield Bay United Methodist Church, 765 Dave Creek PKWY, Fairfield Bay, AR 72088; or Shirley’s favorite charity, American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 22718 Oklahoma City, OK 73123.
American Cancer Society
P.O. Box 22718, Oklahoma City OK 73123
4720 Randolph St, Lincoln NE 68510
Southern Heights Presbyterian Church
5750 S 40th St, Lincoln NE 68516
Fairfield Bay United Methodist Church
765 Dave Creek Pkwy, Fairfield Bay AR 72088