Chester Ray Wells passed away on January 17, 2021, at Mississippi Baptist Medical Center. Chester was born on June 16, 1927, at the family home in Nancy, Mississippi, the second child of Ulysses Chester Wells and Annie Bell Chancellor Wells. Chester was a lifelong Christian, member of First Baptist Jackson and of Beacon SS Class. Chester especially loved singing Christian songs.
Chester joined the Navy during WWII at the age of 17. After a tour of the Pacific area and a year in north China with the 3rd Marines, he came back to Shubuta and graduated from Shubuta High School. Chester went on to study at Clarke College, Newton and graduated from USM with a major in Business Administration and minor in Personnel Management.
Chester’s 40-year career with "Maw Bell'' began on May 1, 1951, when he started working for the Southern Bell Telephone Co. in their Meridian District Construction Department. "Chet" as his fellow workers called him, worked in the Meridian, Hattiesburg, Greenwood, Tupelo and Jackson state offices. He was awarded a lifetime membership in the MS Broadcasters Association for distinguished and devoted service to the radio and television industry. He retired as manager of Business Customer Intercompany and Special Business Services.
Chester was preceded in death by his lovely wife of 50 years, Warrene Elizabeth Holladay Wells. In 2000, he met his second wife, the charming and loving Mary Anne Gowan. They married on January 27, 2005. Mary Anne learned the game of golf with Chester and they played with the Mississippi Senior Association in tournaments. Both were members of Live Oaks Golf Club and enjoyed playing together in couples tournaments.
Chester was also preceded in death by his brother, the Rev. Edsol C. Wells; and brother-in-law, Modrell Howard Holladay. He is survived by his wife, Mary Anne Gowan Wells; step-daughter, Meredith Gowan Le Goff; step-son, Hugh L. Gowan Jr. (Debra) and their son, Lee; sister-in-law, Gilda Hutcherson Wells; niece, Dianne Wells Kinsey (Dale); nephew, Edsol "Eddie" C. Wells, Jr.; sister-in-law, Barbara T. Holladay; nieces, Alison Holladay Moore (Richard), and Sharon Holladay Sjostrom (Michael); nephew, Brian Holladay (Barbara); and great nieces, great nephews and their children; sisters-in-law, Shirley H. Bufkin (Marion), and Fonda E. Holladay; and Bonnie Sides, a caring family friend.
The family would like to thank caregivers, Cassandra Luckett, Gladys Townsend, Addie Nichols and the staffs of Hospice Ministries and Mississippi Baptist Medical Center for all their loving care and help to Chester and family.
Visitation was held from 1:00 p.m. until the 2:00 p.m. service on January 23, 2021, at Wright and Ferguson, Flowood, MS. A private interment was held at the MS Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Newton, MS. The service was available for viewing live on the Wright and Ferguson Facebook page and an online guestbook is available at wrightferguson.com to leave the family condolences.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made either to the Shubuta Memorial Cemetery Association (P.O. Box 375, Shubuta, MS 39360) or to the MS Baptist Disaster Relief (MBCB, P.O. Box 530, Jackson, MS 39205).