George Cline Wells

George Cline Wells, 86, of Flat Rock, NC and formerly of Crystal Lake, IL passed away peacefully April 25, 2021.

Born August 23, 1934 to Glenn and Esther Wells in Farina, IL, George had an early fascination with aviation that started in childhood when he saw a formation of P38’s fly over their barnyard. He later wrote, “I felt as if I were a Canadian Goose with a broken wing watching the rest of the formation move on without me.”  That dream was far exceeded by the reality of his flight adventures spurred on by his flight instructor and brother, Charlie.

Days after graduating from the University of Illinois and ROTC, George married his high school sweetheart, Martha Ann Hotz of St. Peter, IL.  They were married 64 years.

An adventurous career in the United States Air Force included tours of duty in France, England, and Italy flying F-100’s, and Vietnam and Libya flying the F-104 Starfighter and attaining the rank of Captain.  He retired from military service in 1964 and joined American Airlines for a 30 year carrier where he attained the rank of Captain flying DC-10s and performed the duties of Check Airman. He helped to build a Pitts Special with his brother, Charlie Wells, and flew aerobatics. He passed on his love of flying to his daughter, Karen, by teaching her to fly and become a professional pilot.

George and Martha made their home on Crystal Lake in Illinois and George’s concern for the ecology of the lake led him to become a volunteer water quality tester for the IL Dept. of Conservation.  Realizing that politicians controlled many of the important factors related to water quality, he ran for the Park District board and also served as President of the Board. He also served as Mayor of Crystal Lake for four years.  He authored a memoir titled, ‘It’s Like That Everywhere, George’ about his life adventures.

Settling in Flat Rock in 1995, George and Martha enjoyed hiking and riding their Gold Wing trike thru the mountains with two motorcycle clubs.  They are members of Upward Christian Fellowship.

George will be lovingly remembered by his wife, Martha Ann Wells; siblings, Ruth Wilson, Leland Wells and Donna Mae Rickey; children, Karen Bork (Wayne) and Sharon Swing (Tom); grandchildren, Janine Wetzel (Caleb), Joy Bork, and Matthew Swing (Bekah); and 3 great-grandchildren.  He was preceded in death by his parents, Glenn & Esther Wells and brother, Charles Wells.

Memorials can be made to Friends of Sandburg at Connemara, P.O. Box 16, Flat Rock, NC 28731, Elizabeth House Hospice, 581 S. Allen Rd. Flat Rock, NC 28731 or The SECU Center for MemoryCare 100 Far Horizons Lane, Asheville, NC 28803.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Thursday, April 29, 2021 at 1pm at Camp Pinnacle.

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