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325 West 14th Street
New York City, NY 10014
Phone: 212-242-1456
Fax: 212-242-9834
Harry Wells

Harry J. Wells

Wednesday, March 31st, 1926 - Tuesday, November 24th, 2020
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Obituary

Harry Joseph Wells, age 94, of Manhattan, died peacefully on 24 November 2020 at the Manhattan Veterans Hospital, due to complications of surgery.
Born on Staten Island in 1926, raised in the Kingsbridge section of the Bronx, only child of Harry Carr Wells and Frieda (Quast). Preceded in death by his stepmother Theresa (Dolphin), and beloved cousin Mary (Quast) Ingram and her son John.
Survived by stepbrother James (Milly), stepsister Eileen Stimpfl (Kenneth), stepsister Ann Gross (Marty), friend and spouse Ronald Liburdi, cousins Ellen Ingram, Kevin Ingram, Pamela Ingram Wetzel (Henry), many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends, among whom are Jonathan Haney, Jorge Borjas, and Anthony Paccione. Harry was also loved by Ronald's family, brothers Felix (Roxann-deceased)(Sandra), Richard (Betsy-deceased), Michael (Cindy), stepbrother James Casamassa (Cheri), stepsister Madeline Casamassa Surprenant, nieces and nephews.
Harry enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1943, serving on a destroyer escort in the the Pacific. After the war he returned to New York City, working to support his family after his father's death. He reenlisted in 1950, stationed in occupied Japan. After discharge in 1952 he moved his family from a lower east side project to a comfortable home in Bellerose, Queens. At this time he worked in the payroll and property depts. of Bellevue Hospital, where he made many friends.
Later in the 1950s he began working at the Automobile Club of N.Y. where he had many friends among his colleagues.
He retired in 1994 after 42 years with the Club, and began a new career as a volunteer with the Bellevue Auxiliary, working in the Patients Library, assisting the librarian with various tasks, including running book sales, and his most enjoyable task, taking the book cart to patients. Harry didn't just hand out books, he talked with patients. His happy, optimistic outlook on life and empathy for the less fortunate endeared him to many. Eventually, Harry was elected to Vice President and member of the Board of the Auxiliary.
From the early 1970s until his death Harry served as President of the Board of Directors of Save Our Strays, an animal rescue organization founded by Shirley Lustig, who has been a beloved and faithful friend over the years.
Harry was a true New Yorker, native born and raised, but never learned to drive a car. he had "street smarts". Although he dropped out of high school to enlist in the Navy, he eventually attended night school to obtain his GED. He was a great reader; he often said reading was his college education. Harry also loved the theater, going often, and provided his family with tickets whenever he could.
Harry had a big heart that embraced his family and many friends. He was a loyal friend himself who never forgot a birthday or anniversary. And he loved animals, especially pussycats; he never met a stray cat he didn't love.
His family and friends miss his happy disposition, sense of humor and outspokeness. He touched many lives in 94 years.
He will be sorely missed.

Death is nothing at all
I have only slipped away into the next room
I am I and you are you
Whatever we were to each other
That we are still
Call me by my old familiar name
Speak to me in the easy way you always used to
Put no difference into your tone
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes
enjoyed together
Play, smile, think of me
Let my name be ever the household word that
it always was
Let it be spoken without effort without the ghost of a shadow in it
Life means all that it ever meant
It is the same as it ever was
There is absolute unbroken continuity
What is death but a negligible accident
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight
I am waiting for you for an interval
Somewhere very near
Just around the corner

May the road rise up to meet you
May the wind be always on your back
May the sun shine warm on your face
May the rain fall soft upon your fields
And until we meet again . . .
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Private Condolence
RL

ronald liburdi

Posted at 03:23pm
Ronald Liburdi
I was a 22 year old sailor and Harry was 43 when we met in March 1969, but Harry had such a youthful outlook that the age difference hardly mattered. We had a love of the Navy in common, both of us having served on ships in war time. Listening to his many funny stories of life aboard a destroyer escort in the Pacific, with a crew of mostly 17, 18 and 19 year old youths, at sea for the first time, I often laughed and said to Harry it sounded like McHale's Navy.
Harry had a huge influence on my life. He included me in his large circle of friends and family. He steered me into a long career as an RN. He introduced me to the theater, which he loved. He encouraged in me a love of books and reading. And he inspired in me a love of pussycats, of which we had many over the years.
My sister-in-law Cheri said it best about meeting Harry for he first time. She wrote, "I loved him the first time I met him; he was sweet, funny and lovable".
That was the Harry Wells whose life I was honored to be a part of for fifty years. I miss him every day. I would like to think that wherever he is now, Harry is looking on us and smiling.
JF

Joseph Ferrante

Posted at 06:55pm
I first met Harry when I was 21 years old and started my employment at the Auto Club of New York. That was in May of 1973. Not long after, Harry made me feel part of his big circle of friends, and not just an associate. He often offered advice which always started with "I talk to you like a father." He and my father had a lot in common, born the same year, served in the military at the same time and place, and was a comfort to be around. He and Ron often invited many of us to his Sagaponack home during the summers and where we had a most memorable 25 year Club anniversary party for Harry.
Losing Harry is like losing one of the cornerstones of your life. He will always be remembered as a sincere and caring friend of mine. To Ron and his loving family, I offer my condolences.
Joe Ferrante, Green Valley, AZ
AG

Ann & Martin Gross

Posted at 11:28am
Ann Gross

Our dear brother Harry....He was the Patriarch of our family....earning that role after our (and his) father passed
away at an early age and fulfilling his fathers wishes to take on the responsibility of caring for us, which he overwhelmingly
did...he guided, influenced and inspired us...introduced us to the arts and encouraged us to share his love of reading...he
always provided for us and our Mother, for which we are eternally grateful....he will be sorely missed and forever in our
hearts! With love and gratitude, James Wells, Ann Gross and Eileen Stimpfl❤️❤️❤️
SN

Susan Nason

Posted at 08:32pm
Harry Wells was a dear, dear friend of mine. He took me under
his loving wing 50 years ago when we meet when we both worked at the AAA. He listened to my youthful dreams, he guided me through difficult political intrigues at work, and, most importantly, he took me in when my heart was breaking over a relationship breakup. He and the love of his life, Ron, feed me, listened to me, and loved me when I was feeling unlovable. For this reason, and many others, Harry has been in my heart and thoughts even though we didn't see each other for many years. He was generous with all that he had, inviting me out to his delightful summer home. And his cats!!!!!!! Each one so well cared for and loved. My dearest Harry, I bid you a fond farewell as you rest in eternal peace. With so much love, Susy Nason.
 
LK

Lorinda Klein Posted at 12:59am

I met Harry when I worked at Bellevue Hospital and he was a volunteer. He went on to volunteer at The Auxiliary as well. He loved that I could and would curse like a sailor. He was the sweetest person and so kind. I will never forget that he attended my father's funeral and wept even though he had never met him. He felt he knew him from our conversations. And Ron who was the love of his life. He always said that when he met Ron he robbed the cradle. I will miss you, Harry.
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