Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Jon-David Wells Father Passes Away

John Howard Wells, Jr.

My Dad was a Great Man.

Yes, he fought for his Country during the Korean War aboard the USS Hollister; DD-788.

And, he was a Cold Warrior in the 60’s, and 70’s. At one time, his Security Clearance was so high; you had to have a Security Clearance just to know what his was. He took part in NASA’s STADAN Project. We thought he was tracking weather satellites. (Well, he was….As it turns out, you can get great pictures of clouds from KH-10 and KH-11 Big Birds….in real time, no less.) He also worked for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the Goldstone Deep Space Tracking Station during the Viking Project.

Also, it’s true that in the 80’s and 90’s, he was a Ground Controller for NASA’s Space Shuttle Project…Working in the original Mission Control at Johnson Space Center, and taking a major role in the design, engineering, construction, and start-up of the New Mission Control Room; which closed in July following the last flight of Atlantis. The basic layout lives on the Mission Control Room of the International Space Station.

And yes, in the New Millennium, he enjoyed his hard-won retirement, and found the satisfying Peace that only comes through Accomplishment….

But that’s not what made him Great….

….What made him Great was his work as a Husband, and as a Father.

He raised us through the turbulent 60’s, and brought all of us through it without losing a shred of pride in, and love for this Greatest Nation on Earth....

He loved and doted on his daughters….and joyously reveled in the Grandchildren they brought to him.

And he loved his Son….and not just taught him how to be a Man….But showed him how, every single day. He graciously lived through the years of hearing, “Oh, you’re Jon-David’s Father?” And when my Sons came, looked me in the eyes and said, “Congratulations Son….” (I knew what he meant….that was a big day.)

He showed me how to have confidence in my Talent without thinking that it made me any different or better than anyone else. He knew what he was talking about…He wrote like Hemingway….

…..but only in Love Letters to my Mother; who holds him once again this very day, and now for all Eternity….

He helped me through the toughest years of my life with loving honesty….Never forsaking me, but never letting me lose sight of the harsh realities of my obligations as a Man and Father…

We had different politics, but over the years, he never let the heat in our discussions get any hotter than what was necessary to properly forge and hone my positions….An art that took years to appreciate, and one that I try to practice each day on The Wells Report.

(How did he know that I would need that, I wonder….)

He gave me his sense of humor…So blame him. He was impressed at the weight I’ve lost, and told me once how lose those last few pounds….He said, “Really J-D, all you have to do to lose 10 pounds of ugly fat, is cut off your head.”

He gave us all so much….He gave me so much….

….I will miss him so….




  1. So sorry to hear of your loss, JD. What a beautiful and moving tribute you have written. My dad passed two years ago and I know the void you are feeling. Comfort yourself in knowing he is now in Paradise. Renee sends her love.

    Adrian Murray

  2. Lord,
    Comfort JD and his family during this time of mourning. Shine Your love and grace on them, bringing peace in the memories of their loved one. Shelter them in your spirit and help them to understand that it isn't goodbye; it's just goodbye for awhile.

    In Christ's name, Amen

    JD, You have my deepest sympathies for your loss. From your eulogy above you should have no problem filling this new void in your life with laughter and love for his memory. He sounds like a fine man and I know he's proud of you for the man you have become. He did his job well. Stay strong Brother Wells, your sisters are going need you to be the man he raised.

    Scott, Shannon, & Aaron C.
    Italy, Texas

  3. JD, Sorry to hear about the loss of your father. There is no one like a Dad. From your comments, I can see how much you loved him and why he was so proud of you.

    You and your family are in my prayers. May our Lord give you comfort and peace.

  4. Phoenix aka GovteachAugust 17, 2011 at 5:22 PM

    JD. I grieve for you. Your father sounds like a really fine man, and it makes me feel closer to him/you because I believed my favorite uncle and your Dad worked together at Mission Control. That aside, I know your heart is broken, but your father is now with your mother and I'm sure he was very glad to see her and her him. You made him proud I am very sure. We love you and are thinking about you and your family. Thanks for letting us know. Please take care.

  5. JD I'm sorry to hear about your loss. You were lucky to have him as long as you did. He will always be alive in your heart, remember the good things. My prayers will be with you and your family.

  6. Been out of town JD and just heard the news.

    God bless you and your family just as God has certainly blessed and will continue to bless your father. Take care young man.


  7. John David,

    My sincere condolences for the loss of this great man, your father.
    I know the pain of losing a father and my prayers go out to you and your entire family.
    I have enjoyed the times when you had your father on the show. He had some great stories and wisdom.

    Jeff in Cleburne

  8. My God hold you and your family in this time of loss. I can tell how much you loved him, JD. My heart breaks for you.

  9. Jon-David, of all your father's noteworthy accomplishments, perhaps his greatest legacy is the man he raised his son to be. Your loss is great but your love is greater. May God's everpresent love tenderly guide you and your family through the days ahead.



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