LOVETT, WELLS THOMAS, 89, of Louisville, died May 9, 2013.
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A longtime resident of Owensboro, KY, Mr. Lovett was born December 6, 1923 to Laurine Wells and Joe Thomas Lovett at Oakhurst, in Murray, KY. Wells attended Murray State University and the University of Kentucky where he joined the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, before graduating from Ohio State University. He served with honor as an officer in the U.S. Navy during the Second World War and afterward in the occupation of Japan. After the war, he attended the University of Michigan where he received his Juris Doctorate and was president of The Barristers.
Wells was predeceased by his first wife, Mary Whitfield McKinley. They married in Harlan, KY on April 16, 1953. He was devoted to her for 52 years. They had three sons.
Wells is survived by his much loved, second wife, Helen Robertson Lovett, whom he courted and married in 2007. Helen and Wells shared treasured companionship as well as many adventures together, including trips to Colorado, Europe, Hawaii and the Caribbean.
Mr. Lovett practiced law in Owensboro for over 50 years. As a young lawyer he established a national labor law precedent that remains important today. Wells was also active in business as an investor and general counsel of Central Bank & Trust Company and founder and later President of Citizens Security Life Insurance Company. Early in his career, he was active in Democratic politics, serving as Speakers' Chairman for the successful gubernatorial campaign of his friend, Edward T. Breathitt, and as an alternate delegate to the 1968 Democratic National Convention. He served as Commissioner and Chairman of the Kentucky Public Service Commission.
He cherished his trust in his Savior, Jesus Christ, and was a lifelong Methodist. Wells was an active member of Settle Memorial United Methodist Church in Owensboro and St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Louisville. He participated in the Ecumenical Cursillo and helped start the Walk to Emmaus Christian retreat weekends in Owensboro.
He supported many civic causes, and served several terms on the Advisory Board of the Owensboro Salvation Army. No institution was closer to his heart than Murray State University, where he continued his mother's and grandfather's tradition of service as a two term Regent from 1992 to 2004. In 2011, Murray State recognized his service by naming the reading room in the Forrest C. Pogue Special Collections Library in his honor.
Wells was an avid skier and tennis player. He learned to ski in the late 1940s during his time in Michigan, and many family stories involve trips to upper Michigan and Aspen, Colorado, where for over 30 years he was a part-time resident. He was known for his formidable ground stokes on the tennis court, and was a regular contender in tournament play from age twelve into his 70s.
His family remembers his unconditional love and generosity. His grandchildren cherish trips with their grandparents across the States and Canada.
In addition to his wife, Helen Cooley Robertson Lovett, Wells is survived by his sons, John Thomas Lovett (Melissa), of Louisville, Howard Wells Lovett (Kelly), of Fort Worth, TX and James Whitfield Lovett of Philadelphia, PA; his 10 granddaughters, Mary Rachael Lovett Barr (Eric), Elizabeth Leigh Lovett Keshet (Yair), Sarah Camille Lovett Kuper (Spencer), Caroline McKinley Lovett, Brittain Stevens Lovett, Sibley Whitfield Lovett, Eliza Pflittner Lovett, Anne Bouquet Lovett, McKinley Claire Lovett and Brittainy Marie Lovett; and brother, John D. Lovett (Louisa) formerly of Owensboro and now of Glenwood Springs, CO.
Mr. Lovett's funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday at St. Paul's United Methodist Church, 2000 Douglas Blvd. Visitation will be 3-7 p.m. Monday, May 13, 2013 at Pearson's Funeral Home, 149 Breckenridge Lane, St. Matthews, and noon to 1 p.m. on Tuesday at St. Paul's United Methodist Church.
Expressions of sympathy may be made to the Owensboro Salvation Army, 215 Ewing Road, Owensboro, KY, 42301 or Murray State University, 200 Heritage Hall, Murray, KY, 42071.
Pearson Funeral Home
149 Breckenridge Lane
Louisville, KY 40207
Published in The Courier-Journal from May 12 to May 14, 2013