Skip to content

Donald Wells 1923 – 2023

The open house celebrating the life of Don Wells of Verndale will be held on Wednesday, August 23, 2023, from 6 until 8 p.m. at the Verndale Chapel. A Time of Prayer and Remembrance will begin at 7 p.m. with Chaplain Paul Johnson presiding.
Donald Leroy Wells, 85, passed into the loving arms of his savior, Jesus Christ, on July 24, 2023, surrounded by his wife and three daughters.
“Don” was born to Ivan Atwood Wells and Gladys Irene (McDowell) Wells on the family farm in Wing River township, rural Verndale, MN on April 13, 1938, and lived there until February 2023, when he moved to The Gardens at the Meadows in Wadena. Don grew up farming with his dad who helped instill a strong Christian faith into him from a very young age. He continued dairy and beef farming at the same farm until the late 1980s, when he decided it was time for a career change, obtained his GED and a CDL, and then drove semi-truck for about five years until he retired.
Don had many interests and pastimes. One of his most beloved hobbies was training and riding quarter horses, participating in barrel racing and other horse games, and buggy driving. He often reminisced about his favorite horse, Red Barbidol, who won many quarter-mile races, barrel races, and other horse games. Throughout his younger years, Don also enjoyed car racing with his brothers and riding motorcycles. He took up motorcycle riding again in his 60s and enjoyed riding until his early 80s. He also enjoyed spending time with his many special dogs (Trixie from his younger years, Dixie and Riley currently but with many in between.) He was an avid reader and enjoyed learning about many topics, including US history, politics, and Christianity. Don loved to visit and was very sociable. He had strong opinions and curiosity. He loved to tell stories from his childhood and younger years to his family. He loved his family and was proud of his daughters and his grandchildren.
Don married Connie Carpenter in 1979. They had daughters, Holly, Sandra, and Lynnette shortly after. Don enjoyed teaching his girls, Sandra and Lynnette, how to ride horses and participated in barrel racing and horse shows with them. He barrel-raced into his 60s with his horse, Robben Hood Blazer. He also enjoyed activities with the family such as yearly trips to the Steam Threshers reunion in Rollag, MN, trips to Valleyfair, Minnesota Twins games and many more. As the years went on and he became a grandfather, he had much joy in seeing his six grandchildren and always highly anticipated their visits.
Don is survived by his wife, Connie Wells; daughters: Holly (Andrew) Swanson, Sandra (Jared) Huwe, and Lynnette (Chris) Cogdill; grandchildren: Andrew Donald Swanson, Lainee Cogdill, Tylee Cogdill, Nathaniel Swanson, Jordanna Huwe, and Ivy Huwe; younger brother, Allen (Jeanne) Wells; niece, Andrea (Benjamin Greenberg) Wells; sister-in-law, Audrey Wells; and nephews: Ken Wells and Greg Wells.
Don was preceded in death by his parents, Ivan and Gladys; and older brother, Lawrence Wells.
Burial will be in Green Lawn Cemetery in Verndale, MN.
Arrangements with the Schuller Family Funeral Homes & Cremation Services’ Verndale Chapel, Verndale, MN. Online condolences may be left at

Leave a Comment