Larry Wells

09/26/1938 - 10/08/2014 Obituary
Larry Wells Obituary
God's promise was fulfilled and today , Larry is in paradise with him. A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, October 25, 2014 at Coconut Joe's Beach Club , 4000 Easton Drive from 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. The family invites you to come and celebrate Larry's life.
Larry was born to Leslie Wells and Renee Francis Bouche at Letterman General Hospital in San Francisco, CA and passed away peacefully at home with his wife, Debbie Raygoza-Wells and their angel, Patty Beck at his side. He was preceded in death by his parents, stepfather, Samuel Zwanzig, brother, Don Wells and numerous aunts and uncles who he loved and cherished. He is survived by his wife , Debbie, his son, David Wells and wife Kim, his daughter, Kelly Wells Cox and his sister, Sammy Zwanzig Rutwitch and her husband, Joe. He also leaves behind three beautiful granddaughters, Madison, Makenna Cox, and Macayla Wells.
Although Larry spent his early childhood years in San Rafeal, CA, at the age of three, he traveled to Mexico City with his aunt and uncle, Yvonne and Jim Churchill, thus beginning a life long love of traveling. He also traveled to Germany, Alabama, Florida, Kansas and Nebraska as his father and stepfather were in the AirForce. Larry attended San Rafael High School and was very active in football and wrestling. During his high school days, he discovered sailing, which he enjoyed for most of his life while sailing all over California and Mexico.
He proudly served in the Marine Corp. from 1957-1959. After leaving the Marines, he attended San Jose State College with Don, his only brother, and his cousin, Peter Schmid. While in college, he met Carolyn Havener (McCleod) and they married in 1961. They had two loving children, David and Kelly. He also met in college, David Van Noy, his lifelong friend whom he named his son after. Many thanks to Carolyn and Tom McCleod for their friendship in sharing of their home for holidays, birthdays and family gatherings so that all parents could enjoy their children and precious grandchildren. In 1963, Larry became employed by the State of California where he worked for two state agencies making lifelong friends. He retired in 1993 and in 2003 went back to work part time as a substitute teacher in the court schools. Later, he worked for the Department of Fair Employment and Housing.
In 1983, Larry met Debbie at the first Police Memorial Run in Bakersfield. Seven years later they were married and shared a passion for life, traveling , triathlons, running, and their dogs; Georgie, Nelson and Roxy. Debbie was blessed when she met Larry as he was her inspiration who led to many adventures in life with family and friends. We enjoyed trips with his brother and sister and their families in Missouri, Colorado, Massachusetts, New York, and Hawaii. Spring breaks were spent with his children, grandchildren and Carolyn McCleod in Hawaii, Florida and Belize. Larry continued traveling with a trip to China to visit his nephew, John Rutwich and his wife Anh. The trip was a great success as he had his personal interpreters and travel guides in both John and Anh. They enjoyed real Chinese food, the Great Wall and he was able to get a real taste of China as he bought a bike to travel on his own and ventured off to explore. In 2012, David surprised Larry with a father-son trip to Alaska, where they spent a week fishing and taking pictures; it was trip of a lifetime! Many fun times were had at the Schmid Bar and Grill in Manhattan Beach, CA at the home of his Aunt Vivian and Uncle Clancy Schmid. The Schmid house was filled with relatives, good food and great spirits. We were able to enjoy many vacations with friends while sailing our boat and later cruising on the BIG ships traveling to many different countries including the Caribbean, where we were married. Memorable motor home trips with Gary and Beverly McCain included the Sedona Triangle and hike in the Havasupai Indian Reservation and to Loreto, Mexico. With friends from Ventura, CA we cruised the high seas to the Channel Islands, Catalina Island, San Diego and Mexico on our boat, Piddler. We shared many motor home trips and cruises with Jack and Lupe Eberly. We took a yearly August motor home trip with the McCain's, Eberly's, Don Williams and Jim Reynold's family. Larry and I took our last trip together in June to Italy with David and Mary Bonilla. All of our trips were great times, with family and lifelong friends.
Larry had many passions and lived life to the fullest. He was always thankful for what God provided and loved the great outdoors. As an avid photographer, he always carried two or three cameras with him. He loved people and was always making new friends. Uniquely he was a member of the original Bakersfield Triathlon club and also a member of the Bakersfield Track Club, Kern Wheelman, Kern County Amateur Radio Operators and the Bakersfield Pipe Club. After Larry stopped running he could be found at the most local bike and running events taking pictures and freely sharing them with everyone. He also took up pipe smoking and enjoyed collecting pipes and his special blend of tobacco from John T's of Cavendish and Burley. He loved reading and enjoyed all of Dewey Lambdin and Alexander Kent's sea tails. He was a regular at Dagny's where he could happily, smoke his pipe, take pictures, and drink coffee with friends and family. Larry was a kid at heart and loved Halloween and the carving of pumpkins. He also enjoyed coloring eggs with his grandkids and our great neices and nephews at Easter and Christmas time where he loved having a fully decorated fresh tree. Larry will be remembered for his contagious laugh and his love of life. Whenever we parted, I would say,"I love you" and, he would simply reply, "love you more." Without a doubt, I know he did. Rest in peace, until I see you again in paradise.
Many thanks to the Beck Family for their love, care and compassion during Larry's final days. Patty, you are a true friend who was sent from God. Thanks to my niece, Christy Hurst for driving Larry to Dagny's and hanging out with him and capturing some of this information. Sincere gratitude to Lee Denham and Bob Barrera, our dear friends, for the use of their beach house for much needed rest and relaxation. And to our family and friends for the food and prayers that carried us to the end of this difficult time. Thanks also to my friends at AT&T engineer group and my coworkers in the Fiber Management Center all over California, for your love, support and prayers. We would like to acknowledge Kaiser Permanente staff, Dr. Rizbud, Dr. Hillyer and his fantastic staff and nurse, Jan Slinkard. Your love and care made a difference in our lives. Larry never felt like a patient; he knew you cared! The family would like to send a special thanks to the Optimal Hospice team; Madelyn Ollendike, Tanya Baker, Karen Budnick, Christian Phipps, Rick Pressley, Alma Miller-Perry, Angela Davis and Deborah DeBoer. All of your care and compassion will forever be remembered.
In lieu of flowers, we ask that donations be made to Marley's Mutts at
in honor of Larry A. Wells.
Psalms 116:15- Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.
Published in Bakersfield Californian on Oct. 23, 2014
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