He was born Jan. 20, 1935, in Mountainair, N.M., to Skillman “S.O.” Wells and Capitola (Garrison) Wells.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brother Gary Wells; and grandchildren Chesley Wells and Stormy Wells.
Jim is survived by his wife, Loretta; daughter Sherril (Wells) Millsap; son Scott Wells and wife, Robin; son Shad Wells and wife, Maggie; grandchildren Shawna (Wells) Loper and husband, Andrew, Dillon Millsap and wife, Colleen, Sean Wells and Micah Woolsey, Summer Ball and Joey Trumble, Molly Millsap, Shealey Wells, Shane and Maddox Wells; and two great-grandchildren, Hagen Woolsey and Kinlie Loper.
In his early life, Jim was raised in Mountainair, N.M., on a family farm raising pinto beans. At the age of 12, the family moved to El Paso, where he finished school and at the age of 17 enlisted in the U.S. Navy and was based in Oakland, Calif. He served in the Korean War, based in Japan, and started his law enforcement career as an MP police officer.
After serving his term, Jim retuned to El Paso, then later was deputy sheriff in Lea County, Lovington, N.M. During this time, he also had service stations and a cafe in Tatum, N.M., then moved to Big Spring, Texas, continuing with his service station business while joining the police department. He later joined the North Richland Hills police department before relocating to Sulphur Springs to accept a position as assistant chief of police while continuing his service stations at Cross Roads and South Broadway Street.
Later, Jim accepted a position as chief deputy at the Hopkins County Sheriff’s Office under Sheriff Paul Ray “Pop Eye” Jones and later Sheriff Franke Jobe. Jim later had a hay lot and hay trucks, domino parlor, hotlink stand and first game room. He established Wells Grocery while serving as chief of police at Cumby, and later started Wells Vending, which was one of the largest vending routes in the area. He also opened The Furniture Barn.
Jim retired from all of his business ventures to just do what he enjoyed doing, mainly just sitting on the porch visiting with friend Larry Mead and whomever stopped by, meanwhile planning his next trip to Las Vegas or Shreveport.
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