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Albert L. Wells

Company E-1

25 Sep 1938 - 12 Jun 2007

Place of Death: Novato, CA

Interment: Palo Verde Cemetery Blythe, CA

It is with great regret and sorrow that we must inform you of the death of our Classmate, Albert Lloyd Wells, Company E-1, on June 12, 2007 at his home in Novato, CA.  Al is survived by his wife, Joan, and their children Mark and Allison and several grandchildren.  Al is also survived by his father.

A Memorial Service was held on June 24, 2007 at 2 PM in the Keaton’s Redwood Chapel of Marin, 1801 Novato Boulevard, Novato, CA 94947.

Attending the Memorial Service (
from left to right in picture) were: Bill Esselstein (B-1), Charles Burns (I-1), Denny Lenhart (L-2), Alan Lubke (D-1), Burke Mucho (L-2), Rod Grannemann (L-1), Jack Veatch (E-1), Mrs. Albert (Joan) Wells (E-1), Pete Gleichenhaus (C-2), Mrs. Larry (Jeanne) Richards (A-1), Larry Butterworth (E-1), Mrs. Henry (Wendy) Van Gorder (E-1), Pat Carroll (E-1), and Jay Cook (C-1). Not in picture was Bud Coddington (F-1).

From Company E-1 (
L to R in picture:) Pat Veatch, Jack Veatch, Wendy Van Gorder, Joan Wells, Larry Butterworth, Pat Carroll

There will be a graveside service and burial on June 27, 2007 at 9 AM in Blythe, CA, where Al and Joan grew up.  There will an opportunity to visit with Joan at the family home in Blythe after the service.

Condolences may be sent to the family at 520 Fairway Drive, Novato, CA 94949-5837.  In lieu of flowers, the family asks that those who wish to do so make a donation to the Sonoma Valley Christian Church, 181 Chase Street, Sonoma, CA 95476 or to a charity of their choice.

Well done, Al.  Be thou at peace.


  Class Memorial Pages\E-1 Al Wells.pdf


Albert Lloyd Wells Al Wells of Novato, CA, passed away at his home on June 12th, 2007 at the age of 68. Al was a loving son, husband, father and grandfather and will be greatly missed by his wife Joan, father Bud Wells, daughter Allyson (Gerry) Hernblom, son Mark (Gina) Wells, and six grandchildren. Al graduated from West Point in 1961, and served our country with honor in three tours in Vietnam, retiring at the rank of Colonel. Al owned a real estate brokerage, and was a very active volunteer in the Republican Party. A celebration of Al's life will take place on Sunday, June 24th at 2:00 p.m. at Keaton's Redwood Chapel of Marin, 1801 Novato Blvd., Novato, California, (415) 897-1151. A Graveside Service will be held on Wednesday, June 27th at 9:00 a.m. at the Palo Verde Cemetery, 10700 10th Avenue, Blythe, CA (760) 922-4631. In lieu of flowers, gifts in the memory of Al may be made to Sonoma Valley Community Church, 181 Chase Street, Sonoma, CA 95476, or to a charity of your choice.

Published in the Marin Independent Journal from 6/16/2007 - 6/17/2007.

Assembly/Taps Memorial Article:

No.23711 • 25 Sep 1938 -12 Jun 2007 • Died in Novato, CA Interred in Palo Verde Cemetery, Blythe, CA

Albert Lloyd Wells’ journey in life began in Blythe, CA, on 25 Sep 1938-continued through West Point-brightened by his mar­riage to Joan soon after graduation-blessed by the births of their daughter Allyson and son Mark-continued through an exciting and rewarding career in the Infantry and Army reserve, culminating in his promotion to colonel-followed by a challenging but rwarding series of civilian endeavors-further blessed by the addition of grandchildren to spoil-and ended all too abruptly at home in Novato, CA on 12 Jun 200?

During his youth in Blythe, Al was an ac­tive participant in all aspects of school and civic activities-he was quarterback of his high school football team, student body president, achieved high marks in academics, and made many contributions to civic endeavors. Most importantly; he began his lifelong relatioship with Joan, his wife-to-be. The high ide­als, professional attributes, and associated hard work ethics he developed there continued and improved throughout his lifetime, just as did his love and devotion to Joan. Al and Joan's love affair was special. Al first proposed to Joan when he was fifteen years old and loved her until his final breath. His last journal entry; literally days before his passing, reads:

"It is seemingly impossible that my wife becomes more precious every day. My love for her has never been so strong! I tell her, but I hope she really understands what she has be­come to mean to me."

My father was so proud to be a West Pointer. I think he had a solid character be­ fore his entrance into West Point, but surely he was forged there into the most ethical man I have ever known. My father's sense of honor, dedication, commitment and integrity has been a tremendous example to all that have known him. Life is full of situations that may appear gray; but my father saw things more in black and white and in terms of what was right and wrong. He was an example of doing the right thing, regardless of whether or not it was the easy path.

My father was an only child. His close friends became his brothers, and he loved them as such. My dad deeply cared for his family. He was not only a husband, son, father and grandfather, but a sounding board, mentor, provider and, most of all, our biggest advocate. My Dad always told us how much he loved us. All that my Dad ever wanted for us was “everything” .

As a member of the Class of 1961, Al was fortunate to be part of the era when, for the most part, cadets remained in the same com­pany for all four years. As a stalwart champion of the philosophy that E-1 was the only fraternity at West Point, he was a key participant in the unsanctioned activities of Epsilon Uno. Al was not known for his academic achievements, but he was well-known for wearing his well-decorated B-robe even after graduation.

Their first assignment was at Ft. Benning, GA. During the time it took to complete the basic infantry officers' course and Airborne and Ranger training, Al and Joan established relationships with other couples that have continued through the years. The first real tour with the troops was with the 25th Infantry Division at Schofield Barracks, HI. Al distinguished himself during his tour with the 25th and three tours in Viet Nam.

He left active duty in 1971, began a career in real estate, continued to serve his country in the Army Reserve, and was very active in poli­tics. Al was successful in his work, but now he could take more time to enjoy his family. He was enthusiastic in the performance of his Army Reserve duties, wearing his uniform proudly and at every op­portunity. He was a thoughtful patriot and a dedicated American. He had little tolerance for those who couch criticism of our country in terms of "freedom of speech" when the un­derlying goodness of America was not clear to them. He was proud to be an American and a soldier and was convinced that those roles provided value in one's life.

At the same time, he and Joan began to more actively participate in activities at the country club near their home. Ever an ath­lete, Al was an enthusiastic golfer and tennis player. He was jocular-always able to find something humorous in a situation-and never turned down an opportunity to meet with friends and acquaintances to enjoy a glass of wine and exchange perspectives/war stories. He was always thoughtful of others­ taking time and making the extra effort to ensure that friends and widows were included in activities and provided assistance in their times of need.

Al was a loyal friend and confidant to all who knew and loved him. From our West Point days in E-1, through action-packed work and fun-filled times in Hawaii, through the challenges of Viet Nam and other assign­ments, through the varied paths we took in returning to civilian life-we shared common values, goals, and were blessed with loving families and friends. It would be very difficult to find anyone among us who loved his family and country more-who valued the association with, and love for, his West Point classmates more than Al Wells. Great memories, Al; you are truly missed! Let's Roll!!!!

-Written by his son Mark A. Wells and Al's classmates


  • Archived Al Wells Profile