Landscapes 17

Charles E. "Chuck" Wells

May 17, 1943 ~ June 21, 2021 (age 78)

Obituary

Chuck's services will be held at 10:30 AM on July 19, 2021 at the Vineyard Boise Church (4950 N. Bradley St. Garden City, Idaho 83714) with a reception to immediately follow.  Burial will take place at 4:00 PM that day at the Hill City Cemetery (North 1/4 mile off of Highway 20 at 1300 Rd/Mink Rd).

Please click below to RSVP to any and all portions of the services that you plan to attend so that family can plan accordingly.


Charles E. “Chuck” Wells, 78, passed away at his home in Emmett, Idaho, of natural causes related to his longtime battle with Parkinson’s disease, on June 21, 2021. In true form, even until the end, he fought the good fight, he finished his race, never giving in or giving up. Chuck was born May 17, 1943, in Hermiston, Oregon, to Earl Eugene and Fay Lorraine Wells. He was the eldest of eight siblings. Robert, fourth born, passed away at birth. Chuck is survived by his siblings: Judith Merry, Thomas Wells (Stacey), George Wells (Carol), Barbara Cole (Steve), Wendy Evans, and Suzi Bradshaw (Brad).  He married his college sweetheart Alyce Howe and they were blessed with two daughters: Bobbi Jo Taylor (Matt) and Jacki Lynn Briggs (Tom). Chuck was also blessed with six grandchildren and one great granddaughter: Zachary Taylor (Shiloah) and Madi Jo Taylor, Emily, MJ, Maricris, and Rebekah Briggs, and Rebekah’s daughter Elliana Briggs. He is survived by his first wife Alyce and second wife, Marybeth Wells.

 

Growing up in the rural communities of Eastern Oregon, Chuck graduated from Ukiah High School, participating in band, boxing, football, and baseball. He was the state of Oregon’s leading scorer in basketball, and set state track and field records in the 880yd. dash. He attended Clark Jr. College for 2 years on a track and field scholarship, where he proved to have the fastest 1-mile time among freshmen in the United States, as well as the 7th fastest in nation for the 880yd. dash. After 1 ½ years at Eastern Oregon College, pursuing a degree in Education, Chuck found his true lifelong calling while working for the Oregon Parks and Recreation. He then transferred to the University of Oregon, graduating with a degree in Parks and Recreation Management. Always proud to be an Oregon Duck, Chuck relished his time running track for U of O as well.  He was a born leader, organizer and excelled in his natural abilities as an athlete, avid hunter, and outdoorsman. He thrived with any kind of competition, especially racing on the track, a dirt bike or snowmobile, and most certainly was a force to be reckoned with.

Carrying on the “Wells” traditions, Chuck had a vigor and passion for life that was not easily matched. Learning and gleaning all he could from his father and grandfather about hunting and the great outdoors, he grew up with a tremendous amount of love and respect for the mountains. His family instilled a lifelong love for enjoying the outdoors and a commitment to protect, care for, and preserve it for future generations. From an early age, in a backpack on their dad’s back, to riding on the tank of his motorcycle or snowmachine, his daughters fell in love with Idaho’s majesty as well. Chuck’s legacy continues on with his daughters and their families following in his footsteps with an undeniable passion for the outdoors, enjoying camping, hiking, snowmobiling, riding and racing dirt bikes.

Chuck Wells served the great state of Idaho and its citizens for nearly 40 years, at the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation. He began his career working as an Assistant Park Manager at Farragut State Park and within a short amount of time had become the Park Manager at Round Lake. Later, he was offered a promotion as IDPR’s first Off-Road Motor Vehicle Planner. Taking full advantage of this opportunity, Chuck developed the most innovative off-road motor vehicle programs of all time for recreationists across the state of Idaho. His programs for trail development, maintenance, safety, land use, and provisions for funding those programs were the first and most successful in the country. They are still implemented and coveted as models across the US and internationally to this day.

Chuck eventually became known as the “Father” of the ORMV programs for snowmobiling, motorcycling/ATV, and all off-highway use groups. Most of the year, you could find him somewhere in the backcountry of Idaho, enjoying his passion on the back of a dirt bike or snowmobile, networking, meeting new and old friends alike on the trails. If you ever found yourself lost out in the backcountry, it was Chuck you would want to call on to come rescue you. Chuck Wells worked tirelessly behind the scenes, advocating and lobbying on behalf of recreationists all over the state and country. He volunteered his time serving in various clubs, as well as helping found organizations such as the Blue Ribbon Coalition which have fought to protect the rights of recreationists and keep lands open for multiple use. He brought the first snowmobile groomer to the state of Idaho. One thing he was especially proud of was the fact that he invented the “Idaho Special,” which is a drag attachment that is pulled behind a groomer to create a smooth groomed trail.  He was one of the leading experts in the country for snowmobile accident reconstruction and safety. Chuck wrote 11 pieces of legislation pertaining to recreational use, 9 of which became law. He was known to be fair and balanced, and had an uncanny ability to bring all the various user groups together, to find joint solutions involving outdoor use and land management. He received countless awards, along with being inducted into the International Snowmobile Hall of Fame, and several other such honors. He finished his career at Idaho Parks and Recreation as the Recreation Programs Bureau Chief and a titan in the motorized trails community.

After retirement, he spent his time enjoying family and friends. Even in his later years, Chuck was always known for his ability to find a friend, no matter where he was. You could find him at the motocross race tracks cheering family and friends on, or at sporting events watching his grandchildren compete. He worked hard to be able to enjoy the fruits of his labor as an outdoor enthusiast and experienced hunter. He valued the ability to spend time up at his beloved ranch near Fairfield, Idaho, riding dirt bikes, ATVs, snowmobiles, or going on drives in the mountains. Chuck longed to leave a legacy for his children, grandchildren and generations to come in order that they could share in and experience the great outdoors. Chuck was also a staunch patriot, loved his country and was passionate about his freedoms.

Chuck inspired many with his passions, professionalism and dedication to excellence. He was insightful and intuitive when it came to all things outdoors. If you were to ask “His IDPR Boys” (The young men he raised up and trained to be leaders and to carry on his vision and work), they would tell you he was much more than a boss to them. He was a teacher, mentor, and a second father to them and they are honored to follow in his footsteps to carry on that vision. His legacy will benefit Idahoans for generations. Hopefully it will also be an inspiration for others to step up and carry on the work, with the changing of the guard.

One of “Chuck’s Boys” made arrangements for a motorcycle single-track trail to be built near Idaho City in his honor. The trail will be dedicated in his name, sometime during 2021. There will also be an organized “Chuck Wells Memorial Ride” held in the fall, near his favorite riding spots located by his ranch in the Soldier Mountains, near Fairfield, Idaho. Contact family for more details.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Charles E. "Chuck" Wells, please visit our floral store.


Services

Funeral Service
Monday
July 19, 2021

10:30 AM
Vineyard Boise Christian Fellowship Church
4950 N. Bradley St.
Garden City, ID 83714

Please note

Family and friends are invited to RSVP to this service.

 

Video is available for this event



Reception
Monday
July 19, 2021

11:30 AM
Vineyard Boise Christian Fellowship Church
4950 N. Bradley St.
Garden City, ID 83714

Please note

Family and friends are invited to RSVP to this service.


BURIAL

Hill City Cemetery
1300 Rd or Mink Rd.
Hill City, ID 83337

Please note

Family and friends are invited to RSVP to this service.


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