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John Wells

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John Wells Obituary
John Gilbert Wells

December 8, 1929 – August 23, 2018

John Gilbert Wells, a resident of Berkeley, passed away peacefully at The Point at Rockridge, Oakland, on August 23rd, 2018.

John was born to the late Mabel (Hatcher) and the late Thomas Edward Wells on December 8, 1929 in Oakland, CA. An only child, John grew up in Sacramento where his father was a building contractor. He attended the University of California, Berkeley, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1956 with an A.B. in architecture and the award for the most outstanding architecture student.

He became a partner at the architectural firms of Demars and Reay, then at Demars and Wells, and was later head of the architecture division at Kennedy/Jenks Engineers. John was directly involved with the development and building of many prominent buildings in the San Francisco Bay Area and throughout the United States, including Zellerbach Auditorium and the Student Center on Sproul Plaza at the University of California, Berkeley; and the BART stations at El Cerrito Plaza and El Cerrito Del Norte.

John was predeceased in 2011 by his wife, Janet (Kelly), whom he had married in 1963. The greatest love of his life, Jan had enthusiastically supported John's second great love, collecting antique tools. His book on the toolmaker Leonard Bailey, co-authored by Paul Van Pernis, is forthcoming from Astragal Press.
John is survived by his close friends, Paul Van Pernis, M. D., Ashland, Wisconsin, and Dr. Stefan Medwadowski, structural engineer, Oakland; and by eight first cousins: Patricia Fortini Brown, Princeton, NJ; Barbara Fortini Gebhard, El Cerrito; Kenneth Taylor, Oakland; Michael Taylor, Hong Kong; Chris Wells, Valparaiso, IN; Jane Wells, Santa Fe; NM; George (Bari) Wells, Idaville, IN; and Richard Wells, Oakland.

Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Sept. 16, 2018
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