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Rita Ellis Wells
July 6, 1941 ~ November 9, 2023 (age 82) 82 Years Old
On a beautiful warm day in the fall, her favorite time of the year, Rita Ann Ellis Wells of Bostic, NC left her earthly home to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. She passed on Thursday, November 9, 2023 after an extended illness with dementia. She was the daughter of the late George Cleo and Lillian Greene Ellis and the older sister of the late Olivia Gail Ellis Toney. She is survived by her husband of nearly 62 years, Claude Robert Wells, Jr. and daughters Renee Wells Crawford (Calvin) of Bessemer City, NC and Regina Wells Boyd (Woody) of Waynesville, NC and their children Alea, Alex and Adam Boyd. She is also survived by her beloved dog, Josie.
Rita was a 1959 graduate of Ellenboro School. She was called to a career of nursing and graduated from Gaston Memorial School of Nursing in 1962 as a Registered Nurse. She spent her career of 43 years in nursing in Cleveland County. She began as a nurse with a private practice before joining the staff of Royster Memorial Hospital where she became Director of Nursing. She assisted the hospital’s transfer of the new Crawley Memorial Hospital in 1977 where she remained until 1991. She worked until 2005 with the Cleveland County Health Department where she mainly worked with the CAP-DA program. She organized the Alzheimer Support Group for Cleveland, Rutherford and Polk Counties as well as wrote and created an Alzheimer’s Support Guide for Caregivers. Geriatric nursing was her passion as she cared for her own Mother and several family members with dementia.
In addition to her work in nursing, she was devoted to her faith, family, home, and community. She helped with farming and gardening every year. She was an active member of the Washburn Community and served as a community club treasurer. She was also involved as a 4-H project leader with the Washburn 4-H Clubs as the Health project leader for over 20 years as her daughters were coming up in the program and for years after. The center of Rita’s life, though, was her faith in Jesus Christ. She was brought up along with her family in Concord Baptist Church where she was baptized alongside her Dad. She later became a member of Salem United Methodist Church in the Washburn Community where she and Robert maintained his family farm. Rita often relied upon her faith and witnessed to many patients and their families.
Services are planned for 2 o’clock on Monday, November 13, 2023, at The Padgett and King Chapel with the Reverend Ad Hopper and Pastor E. Scott Whitener officiating. Visitation for family and friends will be from 12:00 – 1:30 PM prior to the service. Burial will be held privately at Concord Baptist Church Cemetery. The family will gather at her home on Wells Mills Road in Bostic, NC.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks loved ones to consider making donations in Rita’s memory to the Alzheimer’s Association, Hospice of Cleveland County, or South Mountain Christian Youth Camp. The family wishes to extend a very heartfelt appreciation for the staff of Fair Haven Nursing Home of Bostic for the love and amazing care they gave to Rita and give to all their patients as well as our gratitude to Hospice of Cleveland County.
The Padgett and King Mortuary & Crematory is in charge of arrangements and an online guest registry is available at www.padgettking.com