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Emmett C. Wells, Jr. passed away peacefully at his home on Wednesday, September 25, 2013, with members of his family by his side. He was 97 years young. Emmett was a small-town boy from north Louisiana who made it big in the big cities of New York and Houston. He graduated from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge with a degree in Petroleum Engineering. His career was abbreviated for service in WWII, where Emmett rose to the rank of Lt. Col. in the United States Army and served in the Pacific Theater. He landed on Saipan the day after the invasion. He was amongst the first U.S. troops to walk ashore on Japan after the surrender, where he served in a senior capacity in dismantling the Japanese armaments and war industry. Although reluctant to talk about it as many of his era were, Emmett was enormously proud of his service to his country during the war. After returning from the service, he served in the oil and gas industry for various oil companies from Illinois to Oklahoma, and leaped into the executive ranks for Standard Oil New Jersey in New York, and later, Humble Oil and Exxon in Houston. He retired as Vice President for Production for Esso Eastern, in charge of all of Exxon's production in the Far East. During his service with Exxon, he literally traveled the world, from managing production in North Africa to South America to Asia. Emmett went from very humble beginnings in Louisiana (where his father ran a grocery store) to leaving his golf shoes and golf clubs at a country club in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia so he could golf there on his frequent visits. After his retirement in 1981, Emmett indulged his passions for golf and bird hunting. He annually and religiously went to hunt dove in South Texas with his White Wing Club and duck hunting in South Louisiana, all with present and former members of the executive team of Exxon Mobil. He remained life-long friends with those two groups. When he and his beloved wife of 62 years, Sara (who pre-deceased him in 2002) became grandparents, they moved to San Antonio to be closer to two of their children. In the last years of his life, he enjoyed Sunday evening dinners with his family, watching sports on television, and railing about the politics or this or that administration. Mostly, he enjoyed getting to know his grandchildren and reveled in watching them grow up. Shortly before his death, Emmett established a substantial scholarship in petroleum engineering at Louisiana State University in order to assure that students in financial need would have the opportunity to benefit from a quality education in a field that he greatly enjoyed throughout his career. Emmett is survived by his three children, Sally Pool of Wimberley, Texas, Tullos Wells and his wife Carri of San Antonio, Texas, and Anne Maliff of Hendersonville, North Carolina. He also leaves grandchildren Ryan Pool, Kate Pool, Marybeth Maliff, McKensie Wells, and great-grandchildren Josh Pool, Adriana Pool and Cambrea Pool. His life was extended by many happy years due in large part to the tender (and often enormously humorous) care of Shinell Haynes, Claudia Turnbull and Emma Smith, and others from Nix Private Care. His regular caregivers Shinell and Claudia became part of the Wells family.
Celebration of a Life Well Lived will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 1 at Alamo Heights United Methodist Church in the Garden Chapel, with a reception to follow at the Church. A private graveside service for the family will be held thereafter at Mission Burial Park Dominion North. The family requests that contributions in lieu of flowers or other gifts be made in Emmett's memory to the Admiral Nimitz Foundation, 340 East Main Street, Fredericksburg, TX 78624, Attn: Marty Kaderli, in order that all Americans can continue to remember the contribution made by Emmett and all of his colleagues from this truly greatest generation. You may sign the on-line guestbook at www.missionparks.com under the obituary section.
Published in Express-News on Sept. 29, 2013
Mission Park Funeral Chapel - North
3401 Cherryridge San Antonio, TX 78230