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Ettis Henley Wells, age 78, died peacefully on February 11, 2017 at her daughter’s home in Brandon, Mississippi, surrounded by her loving family, after a struggle with cancer. Ettis was born September 26, 1938 in Clanton, Alabama, the daughter of William Byron Henley and Delphia Ruth Williams.
Ettis was dedicated to her husband, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren and spiritually adopted many others in her church family. She was truly gifted with an unwavering faith in God. She exhibited an amazing compassion for people and very humbly served in the ministry for many years at the First Pentecostal Church of Marbury, Alabama. Ettis began each day by reading and studying the Bible. Following her daily prayer, most mornings you could find her playing the keyboard and singing from her heart; many songs she wrote herself.
In 1957, Ettis married Larry Allen Wells, who stood by her side day and night in her time of sickness. They were longtime residents of Prattville, Alabama and enjoyed the ‘country life.’
Her children say, “Mother never complained.” She always found something to be thankful for and seemed to find the good in every person. According to her close friends, her wise advice and encouraging word were ‘second to none’ and she was referred to as a ‘rock’ in times of need.
Ettis was known for her ease in conversation with others and was a great listener. She maintained a simple demeanor that won the trust and hearts of many. Her contagious smile and canny sense of humor will never be forgotten.
Ettis’ grandchildren will always remember her for her perfect turkey sandwiches, homemade milkshakes, and big breakfasts. She loved to bargain shop and her grandchildren reaped the rewards. She always sent birthday cards and called on every birthday to sing “Happy Birthday.” At times, she would “camp out” with her babies in the living room. “Granm aw Wells”, as they called her, was famous for her chocolate peanut butter balls, which she made every Christmas, her favorite holiday.
During her last days, she was quoted as saying, “Whatever God’s purpose is in all of this, I trust Him. If my condition will help just one soul, I’m willing and it will be worth it all. No matter what happens, I still believe God is a Healer.”
Ettis’ son, Glenn Wells, profoundly describes her feelings: “What is death, but a new beginning that never ends.”
Ettis is survived by her husband, Larry Allen Wells, of 59 years; daughter, Sheila Dykes (Marty); son, Glenn Wells (Jennifer); four grandchildren, Brittany Blanton (Elijah), Blake Beane (Stephen), Destiny Wells, and Justin Wells; two great-grandchildren, Kennedy Orr and Sullivan Blanton; five sisters, Frances Benson, Katie Barrett, Dean Tyner (Raymond), Blanch Nichols (Gene), and Gladys Watson (Ted); two brothers, Buddy Henley (Janice) and Randall Henley and a host of nieces and nephews and many adopted friends. Ettis is preceded in death by her infant son, Richard Allen Wells (1958); father, William Byron Henley (1970), mother, Ruth Henley (1999), and eldest sister, Clarice Culp (2012).
Visitation will be held at Ellison Memorial Funeral Home, 1709 Lay Dam Road, Clanton, AL 35045, (205) 280-4600 on Tuesday, February 14th from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM. Funeral Services will be held Wednesday, February 15th at 11:00 AM in the funeral home chapel under the direction of Lawrence Brown-Service Funeral Home, Selma. Interment will be directly following at Pleasant Grove Cemetery, Clanton.
The family is deeply grateful for the outpouring of love, prayers, and support in many heart-felt forms from too many people to name individually, but including: Gentiva Hospice, extended family and friends either through prayer or other random acts of kindness.
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