Jackie (Jack)

June 9, 1955 ~ August 2, 2020

Born in: Owensboro, KY
Resided in: Owensboro, KY

Jackie Truman Wells

Jackie Truman Wells (Jack), a man of boundless energy, compassion, enthusiasm, and love, left this earthly world on Sunday, August 2, 2020, in Lexington, Kentucky, after a courageous battle with a lengthy illness. A lover of travel to places far and wide, Jack has reached his final destination in the Kingdom of Heaven.
Jack entered this world in Owensboro, Kentucky, as the youngest child of George & Grace Wells, and quickly exhibited his energy through boyish mischievousness. That energy followed him throughout his life as he pursued hopes, fun, and dreams most could never imagine.
As a 15 year-old, he channeled his energy into a job ironing sheets at a local nursing home, making just over $1 per hour. Within six short years, his energy led him to purchase his first nursing home at the age of 21. It is here that his compassion shone through as he treated every resident with respect and dignity, as well as his co-workers, irrespective of position. He exhibited compassion for every individual, regardless of their lot in life.
As he moved through his 20’s, Jack began to acquire more nursing homes, many in different parts of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and created Wells Health Systems, which is still in operation today, to provide quality care to the aged. And he began to expand his entrepreneurial enthusiasm, by growing into the areas of pharmacies and home health services. This expansion into more nursing homes and ancillary businesses brought on new partners, and risk, but this was at the heart of who Jack was: a risk-taker.
In his 40’s Jack sold what had become the Commonwealth’s largest group of independent nursing homes, and after evaluating the next chapter of his life, set out in a completely new space: the vending and food services sector by purchasing Canteen, At Your Service. In the nearly 10 years since, Jack and his partners would forge a path that would create one of the largest vending and food service business in the United States with more than 15 acquisitions, including John Conti Coffee, and comprising more than 800 employees.
In his 50’s Jack redefined himself yet again with a foray into banking investment, as well as real estate development. He aligned with Independence Bank, where he served on the Board of Directors, to create one of the largest community banks in the Commonwealth, and his real estate investments included projects in Owensboro, Indianapolis, Paducah, Bowling Green, College Station, Texas, Florida, and the Dominican Republic. But he was most proud of his investment in the redevelopment of downtown Owensboro where he reached his pinnacle with a personal residence at the Enclave, which sits at the edge of the mighty Ohio River that he loved so very much.
While seamlessly managing these many business entities, Jack invested his time, talent, and treasure in giving back to Owensboro with great love and enthusiasm. The many non-profit Boards he served on included The Boys and Girls Club, Owensboro/Daviess County Chamber of Commerce (Board Chair), Kentucky Wesleyan College (from where he received his degree and later served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees), Girls, Inc., Owensboro Museum of Fine Art, and many more. He generously supported with his treasure the local schools, including a new playground at Foust Elementary, the Bluegrass Hall of Fame and Museum, ROMP MusicFest, and too many more to mention. In short, his love and enthusiasm for Owensboro, and his affinity for those with less, bore out in his selfless gifts of treasure.
Through it all, Jack was recognized many, many times for his accomplishments, including KWC Alumnus of the Year, Chamber of Commerce Entrepreneur of the Year, Ira O. Wallace award, the most prestigious award for outstanding leadership in the long-term care profession, and
many, many others. But, in the end, he sought no acclaim. He simply wanted to use his good fortune in life to “lend a hand up.” He was known to leave a very generous gratuity for a waitress the week before Christmas because, as he would say, “She could probably use that at this time of year.” His love was endless. It was boundless. It was enthusiastic. And it was with unyielding compassion for his fellow human-being.
Jack was preceded in death by his parents, George and Grace Wells, and his daughter, Taylor. Those left to celebrate his exuberance for life, as well as his memory, include his wife, Gina Abell Wells, daughter, Kelsey Underwood, his brother, Jim (Barb) Wells, his nephew, Keith (Mandi) Wells, great-nephew, Noah Wells, and great-niece, Chani Wells. Oh…..and a host of brotherly friends from whom he derived great joy and affection.
As Jack was awaiting the gift of organ donation, please consider honoring him by registering as an organ donor through www.organdonor.gov . He would appreciate you for doing so. Other ways to honor Jack are through a memorial gift to include the Jack T. Wells Endowed Scholarship Fund at Kentucky Wesleyan College, The Owensboro Museum of Fine Art, the Boys and Girls Club, or Girls, Inc. However you choose to remember Jack, please know how profoundly grateful he would be to you.
Jack would express spontaneous excitement with an exuberant, “Woo Hoo!” Honor Jack in the years to come by creating “Woo Hoo” moments for yourself, those you love, and those who simply pass by you daily. He did this every day. And thank you for celebrating the extraordinary life of Jack T. Wells.
Jack’s Celebration will take place 4:30 pm Friday, August 7th at the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame, Mike Horn Pavilion, which will be live-streamed at www.facebook.com/HaleyMcGinnisFuneral. Visitation will take place Thursday, August 6th from 2:00 to 8:00 pm at Haley McGinnis Funeral Home & Crematory. All those who wish to honor Jack in person at the visitation or service are required to wear a mask while inside the funeral home and the pavilion for the safety of all those in attendance.
Private burial will take place at Oldham County Valley of Rest.
Haley McGinnis Funeral Home & Crematory is both honored and privileged to be entrusted with the care of Jack Wells. Share your messages of condolence with the family of Jack by signing his virtual guestbook at www.haleymcginnis.com.

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Guestbook

  1. Very blessed to have known Jack for a number of years. His generosity was exceeded only by his kindness to others. His beloved Owensboro and Wesleyan will miss his presence, positivity, and passion.

  2. Jack was a wonderful man. He made a difference. He will be truly missed.
    Prayer for God’s perfect peace to his family and friends.

  3. I am deeply saddened of the news of such a wonderful person I had the pleasure of working for, for 11 and a half yrs. at Wellington Parc. Jack was a well known man and was a very sweet person to be around. Jack will no longer suffer and his legacy will forever carry on just as he would want.

  4. The beginning of our friendship on Fargo St many, many years ago your love for life, family and friends never changed. Your memory and legacy will live on in many ways. You will be in my heart until we meet again.
    Go rest high on that mountain my sweet Jackie.

  5. Jack was a wonderful man and a great friend. He will be missed by all who knew him. He touched so many lives and did so much good. My thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time. May God Bless You…..

  6. Jack Wells was a visionary and helped make Owensboro what it is today. He was always friendly and gracious. Having served with him on the OH Board, he always had the interest of the hospital and community foremost.
    He will be missed.

  7. My deepest sympathy in the lost of your loved one. He sounds like an amazing man and I know he will be missed. May God bless each of you and keep his loving arms around you in the days ahead. GINA I am James and Pam’s Aunt Mimi and all my love goes out to you today and the days ahead. God bless. you.

  8. Jack was a very dedicated leader in long term care facilities and a major influence in the development of KAHCF, the trade association for nursing homes and elderly housing. His dedication to quality care for all patients and residents was well exhibited throughout his many years of involvement. I worked with Jack for many years and respected him greatly. He will be missed.

  9. Jackie and I became friends in our early teen years. We went through Jr. High and High School together, worked at the same nursing home (where he began his career path). We had many good times together and he was my best man at our wedding in 1976. Although life events and miles between us occurred, when we spoke, it was as if we had seen each other the day before. I was truly blessed to have known Jackie and have him as a friend. Jackie has been described as a humble and compassionate man. Those are true descriptions. To his family, may the Lord bless you and comfort you through the coming days. I will miss my friend… until we see each other again.

  10. I am honored to have known Jack for many years. He was a friend and great American success story. He will be missed. I’m confident his family and friends will be comforted by the many great memories Jack created.

  11. Gina:
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time.
    GOD chose another servant.
    Wayne and Linda Theiss

  12. The world was a better place because you were here. Go rest high on that mountain Jack .
    You will be missed.

  13. To Jack’s wife, family an Pastor Jim,Barb son Keith,wife an children; our family is so sorry to here of Jack’s passing an know he will be truly missed by all! We send much love an many prayers to all of you an may our heavenly Father comfort your hearts now an in the days ahead! Judy,Debbie,Becky,Brenda,Earl

  14. Jack was a great man, friend will be missed greatly I grew up 2 streets over on ridgewood street he was always nice to me and our family wish there were more jack wells in the world rest in peace jack your in gods hands now making business deals your reunited with your daughter and mother and father

  15. My hero has left this life for a better one. Your laughter, your crazy moments, your absolute love for life has changed mine. I will never forget those late nights working on projects while driving around in “Papa Wells truck.” What a gift you were and will always be. Keep the angels entertained!

  16. When Jack Wells served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Kentucky Wesleyan, I was Academic Dean. We met on many occasions, sometime one-on-one, other times in larger groups. Jack was an excellent leader; he allowed the faculty to teach, the administration to manage, and enabled the Board to govern wisely. When faced with a problem, Jack listened carefully, asked questions to make sure he understood relevant issues, and then took the best course for the college.
    Jack cared deeply about people and enjoyed life. He was a special person. We are blessed to have had him walk among us.
    Mike Fagan

  17. Jack was a very special person to me growing up, as cousins we spent a lot of time together, playing and hanging out. As the years passed by we grew apart which happens, but he was always in my thoughts. He was a great person and a wonderful friend. He will be missed. To his family, know that God will always be there for you and will never leave you. I will miss you Jack.

  18. Thank you Jack for all the love and kind generosity you shared with our family. Gina, my beautiful cousin, we express our condolences and in the name of Jesus we pray for the family. I know hearts are broken and memories will live on in Jack’s name all over the world. RIP.
    Love to you, Meresa Prather Fincher and Lew Fincher.

  19. Thank you for always being an Inspiration to all of us. Your humility, kindness, and smile will always be remembered. May you rest in God’s loving peace.

  20. I was so sorry to hear of Jack’s passing I work at the Canteen in Bowling Green And I got the pleasure of meeting Jack and he seem so easy going, and was
    very attentive to you as you spoke to him.

  21. Gina, Sending much love to you during this time. May you feel the presence and strength of God as you move through the days ahead.

  22. Gina and family- we are so sorry for your loss. Losing family is always so difficult. Our prayers are with you.

  23. Jack we didn’t meet here on this earth, but your heart of giving touched people and missions close to my heart! Thank you! And Enjoy the presence of the one who gave you that spirit of caring for others!

  24. Jack was special and one of a kind…he will be deeply missed. So very sorry.😢🙏🏻
    We will miss his smile.

  25. Jack was a true visionary and made a real difference in the direction our city took. He instigated the idea of public private partnerships and helped Owensboro to grow at an amazing pace. I was glad to serve with him on the hospital board as he was always acutely aware of the politics; visionary all the while and acutely aware of how any decisions would affect the patients. What a compassionate gentleman. Job well done, Jack!

  26. Jim, Barb, Keith, Mandy, Noah, Chani and the family – we are so very sorry to hear of Jack’s passing. Heaven just became a much sweeter place for you all to look forward to. We have been and will continue to be in prayer for you all in the days and weeks to come. We love you and ask God to wrap His precious arms of love, peace and comfort around you and carry you through this difficult time. God bless you all, James and Joy

  27. For over 40 years, Jack was one the dedicated professionals who made Long Term Care better for the Residents, the Staff and their Families. He will be missed as a Friend and a True Leader who prioritized Quality Care. Gina, our thoughts and prayers are with you and the Family.

  28. Jack
    A true gentleman . Advisor and friend
    To so many people. His calm demeanor
    Provided strength to all he came in
    Contact with. I know he provided friendship to me for over 30 years. It
    Is so sad you have left us so early.

  29. The Limos By Knight family would like to send our deepest condolences to Jack Well’s family and friends. I personally have lost a friend. Even though we didn’t hang out in the same crowds, on the occasions we did happen to be at the same location, either he or I would make it a point to come over to say hi. He always had a smile on his face. He will be truly missed but the investments he has made in Owensboro will live on for years to come. R.I.P Jack

  30. To all the family of Jack Wells:
    Jack was a unique individual who had foresight few people
    have had and it served him well in the many people he helped
    in life, and the talents and service he gave back to the community.
    He will certainly be missed. All are in our thoughts and prayers.

  31. Our thoughts and prayers to the friends and family of Jack Wells. We are so sadden with his passing. Our friendship and partnership had just begun, we knew how excited he was about being part of a car dealership, we look forward so much to the journey we started to travel. Sadden he won’t be with us in life as we take it, blessed to know he will be there in spirit. We didn’t know Jack from the years gone by, we only knew the man of recent days. He was special, he touched our lives like no other, he believed we were the right fit and he believed in us, we believed in him. He will never be forgotten but missed more then he could ever have known.

  32. Fresh Start for Women expresses our gratitude for Jack’s adoption of our foundation project and wish he could have seen the impact he made. He will be missed by many in the area. God’s blessings to the family and friends.

  33. A truly wonderful and kind human being. Jack you will be missed by many. Much sympathy to family so very sorry.

  34. Jack meant a lot to me. Jack was an early entrepreneur idol of mine as I watched him build his businesses which inspired me to build my own. Jack’s smile, positive attitude, entrepreneurial spirit, commitment to community, passion for life, and compassion for people stood out as his best qualities and abilities that I admired most about him. Jack’s legacy will live on through the many lives, organizations, and businesses he has touched over his lifetime. I pray for Gina, Kelsey and all those grieving the loss of Jack, Gina, I hope you find comfort for your sorrow, courage for each new day, strength to face this journey, God’s word to light your way, and God’s grace to fill your heart with peach to understand.

  35. Jack kept John, his attorney, very busy with all his many business deals, especially the nursing homes. Sadly John’s Parkinson’s now requires the excellent care at Wellington Parc but he appreciated several visits from Jack.

  36. Jack’s wonderful legacy will be long lasting and we were thrilled to hear he had recently put his trust in the resurrected Christ for salvation so we know he is in Christ’s presence completely healed and he will live eternally and we will see him again.

  37. I worked for Jack from 1991-1999. He was kind, fair and generous. He did so much to provide excellent long-term care for older adults. I will always be grateful for the opportunities he gave me. I will miss him!

  38. Jim, Barb, Keith and family. Coy and I are so saddened to hear of your loss of Jack. We are thinking of all of you during this tough time of grieving. We love you guys!

  39. What a loss to us to be temporarily separated from our dear friend, Jack! But he has truly reached his eternal victory! We will be together again someday!

    My husband, Prentice, and I went to school with Jackie all the way back to elementary days. He has always been a most special friend and we are going to miss him immensely! There has never been such a smart and caring person who loved everyone and was loved by everyone!

    Our hearts go out to all of you and prayers go up for you! We pray God’s arms of comfort for you today and in the days to come! Love to you all!

  40. Jack will always have a place in my heart. He treated my mother with much respect and dignity when she resided in 2 of his nursing homes. He truly loved everyone he came into contact with. Mr. Wells you can now rest in the kingdom of God. The Well’s family and friends are in my prayers.

  41. Gina
    Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Feel sure Dianne and Jack are dancing!

    Love you,
    Sissy Baker Thompson

  42. Jim and Barbara Wells, Keith and his family:
    So very sorry for your loss. Words seem empty to try to express our sympathy for such a loss; a wonderful brother, uncle, and friend. Praying for all.
    Oda and Kathy

  43. I worked for Jack at Heartland Villa Nursing Facility from 1996-2007. He was great to work for and always treated his employees like friends and family. He made sure that the residents in all his facilities were given the best care and even let us care for his dad. When I read about the “WooHoo” moments it brought back a memory for me, when Heartland Villa won KAHCF Facility of the Year Jack came running, jumping and yelling “WooHoo” as we celebrated this achievement. Jack did so much for the Owensboro and the surrounding area and will be greatly missed. Gina, my prayers are with you and your family during this time.

  44. Jack, was a giant of a man who achieved enormous success and lived a very large life to put it mildly. He had an oversized personality and a gregarious, hail fellow well met nature. He was welcome company wherever he was.

    He was also kind, generous and charitable. He never forgot his humble roots and never turned his back on his hometown, becoming a pillar of the community that he loved and in which he lived his entire life proudly. His civic contributions were immense.

    His business accomplishments, his personal style and warmth and his civic contributions are obviously his visible qualities, all worthy of respect and mourning upon his passing. However, his greatest contributions were to those whose lives he touched on a personal level. Those are the true hallmarks of a great man.

    He possessed honesty, honor, dignity and a love of life. He was a great man , being good and doing good on an individual level, on a personal level even when nobody was watching. That is the true measure of a great man. Jack was a great man.
    He will be missed.

  45. Jack was a great friend and was truly amazing in so many ways. I had the pleasure of serving with him on the Wesleyan board for many years and we will miss his knowledge, his generosity and his quiet presence. His love of Owensboro was unmatched and what he has achieved will be remembered forever. Marcia and I want to offer Gina and his family our condolences.

    David Hocker

  46. This is a sad day for Owensboro. Jack was a wonderful person. He cared and did so much for our community. He will be missed.

  47. I was extremely saddened when I heard of Jack’s death. I was the Administrator of Hermitage Manor just prior to Jack purchasing the operations. He was a fine man, a good friend and I know he will be missed by many. RIP my friend.

  48. All of us at Palmetto Vending know that there are no words to adequately express our condolences at this time. We pray that Jack’s memory will always be for a blessing to you and to your family.

  49. I had the privilege of going to elementary, jr. high and high school with Jackie, he was such a sweet person. Also enjoyed all our classmates getting together for breakfast every month and catching up with each other’s lives. Jackie will most certainly be missed. Prayers to the family
    Sarah Douglas

  50. Jack Wells you are a good man you forgot where you came from big heart you will be dearly missed rest in peace my brother

  51. Jack will be missed by so many people. Thank you for all you have done for others and for Kentucky Wesleyan College. For Jack’s family, I sincerely hope that knowing how much Jack cared for others will help you as you deal with his loss. Many blessings to all of you in this time of sorrow.

  52. During our tenure at Kentucky Wesleyan, Jack served tirelessly, energetically, and devotedly to make the college better for students, faculty, staff, and the City of Owensboro. His investment of his time, talent, energy, and resources was unmatched. It was our great privilege to have worked with him and to have called him a friend. Carol and I send our deepest condolences to Gina and all Jack’s family.

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