WELLS ~ She was strong. She was fun. She was a blessing to us all.
Born in Dublin, Georgia, September 4, 1921, Mary Neal was the daughter of the late Reverend Tony Neal, Sr. and Mary McClendon. Growing up in Georgia, she attended the local public schools in Laurens, County. Mary accepted Christ at an early age. It was not until the early 1940s that she married Jerry Wells, Sr., and the young family relocated to Jacksonville, Florida. While getting settled in her new home, she would spend time rearing her children with much patience and a kind heart. In the 1950s, Mary went on to become a founding member of Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church. Under the leadership of the late Reverend Walker, as a new member, she sang in the choir and became the church’s financial secretary. Sadly, in June 1960, the angels called her husband home. Having a strong devotion to the church and for the Lord, in 1970s, she then became the mother of the church. She held this position until she received her heavenly wings.
New to Jacksonville and now a single mother, Mary found work within the area as a cook and doing day’s work for local families. The Lord blessed her with a large family composed of twelve children (nine boys and three girls). Having to provide, she then began working as a school bus driver for the Duval County School System. Retiring at the tender age of seventy-two, Mary was a staple in many children lives as the local bus driver for over thirty years. She loved spending time with friends and family. Gardening, cooking and watching shows such as the “Walter Ponder Show” and “Walker Texas Ranger” were things that she did in her spare time. Mary even took piano lessons and learned to play her favorite song, “Leaning on The Everlasting Arms”. Although she had many hobbies, her favorite hobby was reading the Bible. No matter what time of the day, she could be seen sitting in her favorite chair reading the word of the Lord. This made her happy; this kept her at peace.
Into her senior years, Mary continued to grow her faith within the Lord, and stayed a faithful member of Mount Pleasant Baptist Church which is now under the leadership of Pastor Alexie Kelly. Mary Wells was the oldest member of the church and the last surviving member listed on the cornerstone until August 25, 2019. The Lord ushered her into His presence and embraced her with His eternal love. She was preceded in death by her husband, Jerry Wells, Sr. (1960); son, Gregory Lee Wells (1990); seven siblings; and many cherished family members. Mary Neal Wells leaves eleven children to cherish her memory, Mary Smith, Jerry Wells, Jr. (Rose), Pecola Wells, Gloria Wells, John Wells (Alberta), Tyrone Wells (Estella), Bruce Wells, Anthony Wells, Sr. (Elizabeth), Dwayne Wells, Larry Wells (Elaine), Tracy Wells; a host of grandchildren; beloved sister-in-law, Ella Mae Neal; nephews, nieces and countless friends.
“What a fellowship, what a joy divine, leaning on the everlasting arms; what a blessedness, what a peace is mine, leaning on the everlasting arms. . . . . .”
Mary Neal Wells will be missed tremendously. She was a blessing to us all.
Celebration of Life Services for Mrs. Mary Neal Wells will be held 11:00 AM Saturday, September 7, 2019 at Mt. Herman Missionary Baptist Church, 5527 Redpoll Ave, Pastor A. L. Jordan; Reverend John Wells, Eulogist. The family will receive friends Friday from 5 – 7 PM at the Soutel Chapel. Because of the love of her family, arrangements entrusted to J E Fralin & Sons Funeral & Cremation Services, 5065 Soutel Drive, 904.924.9400.
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