Richard Curtis Wells, a gentle bear of a man and true renaissance person, died Tuesday, June 14, 2022, because of dementia-related causes. He was born July 22, 1940, in Steubenville, Ohio, to Mabel Starkey and Floyd Edward Wells. He grew up near Wintersville, Ohio, next to his grandparent’s farm, which gave him a deep appreciation for farming, gardening, forests and creeks.

Among the many things Richard loved and knew a great deal about were: cars, which he painted, raced and could identify by their engine sound; birds, thanks to his parents’ membership in the local Audubon Society; fishing, teaching himself how to tie flies and wrap rods; clouds, becoming an early member of the Cloud Appreciation Society; reading, especially serious works on world history; listening to the radio, particularly Radio Free Moscow, which he was a strong supporter of; music, both popular and classical; politics, holding strong socialist views and taking pride in his father’s membership in the Communist Party; and above all, art, having an amazing sense of color, ability to observe the natural world and visualize how things would look together.

Among the many things Richard was as a person were: sensitive; creative; intelligent; kind; gentle; affectionate; soft-spoken; humorous; a great teaser; an excellent cook who loved fresh, organic fruits and vegetables and was always at the Moscow Farmers Market at the opening bell to have first pick from his favorite vendors; a bit of a clothes horse with way more shoes, shirts, etc. than needed but with perfect taste for himself and also his wife who frequently received compliments for items he had picked out; and above all, a believer in having a simple life in tune with nature.

Richard is survived by his wife of almost 50 years, Barbara Wells, into whose life he brought color and light, the ability to be flexible and spontaneous, and above all, enormous love and devotion; his sister, Lynn Wells, who will tell you that he was a very big part of the woman she would become; brother-in-law, Ron Hufham; and nephew, Ian Tanimoto.

There will be an informal burial service at 2 p.m., Thursday, June 16, 2022, at the Moscow Cemetery, to which anyone wanting to attend is welcome.

Gratitude is expressed to the wonderful staff at Palouse Hills Assisted Living and to Dr. Stephanie Fosback for the extraordinary care they all provided to Richard. Together, they made the loss of him a little bit more bearable.

Short’s Funeral Chapel of Moscow is in charge of arrangements, and condolences may be left at

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