Lynnette Kay Wells (known as Kay by family and friends) entered eternal joy, peace, and perfect love on June 9, 2023, after fighting the good fight, keeping the faith, and finishing her race. Born during World War II on December 27, 1941, in Waco, TX to Harry Ullrich and Lydia Grohowski Ullrich, Kay grew up with a tangible love of all people and embraced diversity. Coming into the world fresh on the heels of the Great Depression also shaped her formative years. She had a green thumb and started working at a florist shop as a teenager to help her family pay the bills, with gardening (flowers, plants, vegetables, and fruit) remaining a passion throughout her life. Kay continued mastering the art of frugality in adulthood by clipping coupons, sewing clothing items from scraps of material, adding to the family’s dime jar to save money for household items, and finding innovative ways to repurpose various objects most others would have tossed. Down-to-earth Kay knew what really mattered to her, and earthly possessions did not make her values-based list.
In 1958, Kay was at a friend’s house, with her tiny dog peeking out of her purse, and in walked a dashing young man, Doyle Wells, who was heading off to college to study preaching. He was immediately smitten, but she wasn’t convinced. They exchanged handwritten letters for a couple of years until Doyle stopped replying. In response, spitfire Kay mailed a one-sentence note announcing that if that’s how he was going to be, she was done…that is, until Doyle unexpectedly appeared at her door, walked her to his 1956 Chevy, and proposed. Thus began a 62-year story of ministry, triumphs, and heartbreaks, enveloped in dedication and unconditional love that included the meaningful relationships she shared with her many in-laws, friends, and future family.
Inventive, creative, and passionate are three words to describe Kay’s Sunday School teaching. She spent countless hours designing visual aids with an overhead projector, and little ones’ eyes were glued to her as she captivated them with her storytelling. Kay (a history buff) and Doyle also went on mission trips to Mexico, Czechoslovakia, and Czechia, returning with many insights about the historical changes between their visits.
Kay embraced her role as a minister’s wife and served from the kitchen using her excellent culinary skills. She delivered made-from-scratch cinnamon rolls and sourdough bread to loved ones and those who were sick or otherwise suffering. She hosted parties for congregation members, including an annual Stone Soup gathering. Kay and Doyle provided the melt-in-your-mouth cornbread and soup base, to which each attendee added a can of vegetables. There was a lesson in virtually everything she did, with this one exemplifying the benefits of sharing, collaborating, and supporting one another. No party was complete without games; two of her favorites were Bridge and Dominoes. Rarely could anyone be in a room without hearing Kay’s spirited, infectious laugh (or legendary sneezes). She could “have a conversation with a fence post,” having never met a stranger and knowing how to make newcomers feel welcome. She loved, remembered, and served people wholeheartedly.
The boundless love Kay exuded extended to her children. She never missed one of their events unless they occurred simultaneously, in which case she and Doyle alternated which activities they attended. She understood the power of being present and that modeling how to live was more profound than telling her kids how to live.
Kay was the bookkeeper for a nonprofit in Austin, TX during her senior years until a stroke altered her course. Healthcare workers raved about her positivity, perseverance, sweetness, and gratitude throughout her physical struggles, and several loved ones surrounded her on the day she went to her reward.
Kay was preceded in death by her parents and sister, Vernelle Richter. Left to relish her legacy of love, faith, service, laughter, and cinnamon rolls are her beloved husband, Doyle; her two children, Evin “The Kid” (Michaella) and Heather “Punkin” Wells; and her adored grandkids, Brooke, Riley, Hayden, and Addison Wells, along with many cherished in-laws, nieces, and nephews.
If you wish to honor the life of Kay Wells, nothing would have made her happier than knowing someone did so by engaging in an act of service for another person. Kay’s life will be celebrated on Monday, June 19, 2023, at 1:00 p.m. in the chapel of Waco Memorial (6623 I-35, Waco, TX 76706). Since she believed no gathering was complete without food, there will be a meal at one of her favorite local restaurants, La Fiesta (3815 Franklin Ave., Waco), following the memorial. The family is forever grateful for your support and prayers, and they welcome you to share a favorite memory or story here: https://www.wacofhmp.com/obituaries/lynnette-wells.