Look inside any well-oiled, precision machine and you will find one central component that keeps things running like clockwork. That one clip, pin or spring that keeps the mechanism purring along, seemingly without effort. Remove this single piece and the whole thing grinds to a halt, wheels off the track spinning helplessly. For the Wells family and Wells Farms, Gerrie Wells was that lynchpin. She served as cook, housekeeper, gardener, accountant, HR manager, business partner, sometimes lawyer, often banker, frequent nurse, and most of all, mother. And, like most lynchpins, she did all of these things with unassuming quietness and precision… unless you were the one who happened, by some chance, to foul up her system. Be that unfortunate soul and you – plus anyone close by - would learn not only the effects of your action (or inaction) but what it was going to take for Gerrie to get things back on track. Soon enough, however, she had set things right and the gears were again humming along.
Geraldine Claire Masten’s life started on October 17, 1934, the youngest of eight. Outside of a brief four-year stint farming near Rupert, Idaho, this northwest native spent her life anchored in South Poe Valley, raising her family within view of the dairy where she and her siblings grew up. A college education was an unspoken expectation in the Masten household, and Gerrie lived up to it by earning a nursing degree from OHSU after graduating from Henley High School in Klamath Falls. Soon after graduation she married Emil Dean Wells on April 7, 1956, a marriage that lasted over 64 years.
Gerrie finished her task list June 10, 2020 at her home in South Poe Valley. She is survived by her husband, Dean, daughter, Robin Kassman (Dustin), son John Wells (LaVonne) and four grandchildren: Victoria & Tynan Kassman and Emry & Ryan Wells. In addition, she leaves behind three siblings: Nona Lowe, Pat Kerns, and Shirley Cranley. The machine will purr along without its central gear, but it will not be quite the same. We leave you with one closing thought about Gerrie: “Growing up, she was never afraid of the bull.”
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Gerrie’s memory to Shriners Hospital for Children in Portland, Oregon. You can easily donate at donate.lovetotherescue.org.
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