Gertrude Wright Wells Neff of Lexington died March 15
Gertrude Wright Wells Neff passed away peacefully in her sleep with her daughters by her side at her home in Lexington on March 15, 2017. She went home to be with her heavenly Lord and as she would say, “Absent from the Body, Present with the Lord." II Corinthians 5:8.
Born in Lexington on Oct. 1, 1922, she was the daughter of Gertrude Thornhill Wright and William Waldrop Wright. She is preceded in death by her husband, First Lt. William Edwin Wells, B-17 pilot in the 398th Division of the 8th Air Force, killed in action in the service of our country over Derben, Germany, in 1945.
She attended Longwood Women's College and after WWII worked at both the athletic department and alumni office at Washington and Lee University. Later, she was the administrative assistant at the Sigma Nu Fraternity National Headquarters. From the mid 1960s until very recently, she successfully oversaw and managed her rental properties in Lexington and Rockbridge County.
In the early 1980s, Gertrude was a founding member of St. Paul's Anglican Church, along with Bill and Lois Crites.
She was a gifted painter and a knowledgeable local history buff, with a deep love of nature and horses and a variety of pets, including her favorites, West Highland terriers. One of the great joys in her life, in the early 90s was finding her husband's WWII 398th Bomb Group Association. Over the years, she enjoyed traveling with her daughters to many reunions, which were held yearly, in different states, across the Country as well as Nuthampstead, England and Normandy, France, for the D-Day celebration in June of 2004.
Surviving her are her daughters, Trudie Wells Kirkland, and her husband Hal of Lake Alfred, Fla., and Karen Anne Neff, and her husband Frank Evola of Collierstown.
The family would like to thank her caregivers: Melissa, Helen, Candice, Carrie, Debbie and Nancy and Nurse Carol for their devotion, dedication, love and affection.
A memorial service will be held 3:30 p.m. Monday, March 20, at the St. Paul's Anglican Church-Outreach with the Rev. Alex L. Darby III, priest-in-charge, officiating. A private graveside service at Stonewall Jackson Cemetery will be held followed by a memorial service at St. Paul's Anglican Church.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in her memory to the 398 Bomb Group Memorial Association at www.398th.org or to St. Paul's Anglican Church-Outreach, P.O. Box 1273, Lexington, VA 24450, or the Rockbridge Area SPCA, P.O. Box 528, Lexington, VA.
Arrangements are by Harrison Funeral Home & Crematory.