Community leader Bill Wells passes away.

December 28, 2020

Community leader Bill Wells passes away.

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

HART – Former Hart mayor and ambulance service pioneer William “Bill” W. Wells, 78, of Hart passed away Saturday, Dec. 26. 

Wells served many years as mayor and as a city council member. He also was an EMT and served on the Hart Area Fire Department. 

Wells, a Vietnam veteran, was a member of the Hart American Legion and Masonic Lodge. He also worked as a barber for many years at the “602 House” at the corner of State and Wood streets, which burned down Feb. 5, 2019.

“Bill served the community of Hart in several capacities over the years,” states his obituary. 

“I knew Bill as being a part of the Oceana County Ambulance Service and the barber up the street,” said Oceana County Undersheriff Ryan Schiller. Wells was one of several local people who served as a “pioneer” for the county ambulance system, he added.

“Bill served the citizens and visitors of Oceana County for decades, ultimately keeping the service operating until a full-time director and employees were hired,” Schiller said. 

“Prior to Life EMS, there was Oceana EMS, but first Oceana County Ambulance Service, operating much like a volunteer fire department does. Bill was an incredibly dedicated person and committed to the community.

“Men and women who were EMTs and paramedics signed up to be ‘on-call’ for 12-hour shifts. When there was need for an ambulance, the radio would go off and summon the crew to get the ambulance and take people to the hospital. This ‘on-call’ status meant you couldn’t leave town. Business owners would close their shops and EMTs would leave their places of work to serve their community. 

“Bill was the coordinator fo the Hart crew for more years than I can count,”  said Schiller. “Bill was one of those people in the community that gave everything for the sake of keeping the ambulance service staffed.”

Oceana EMS transitioned to a full-time service in 2001, said Schiller. 

Wells is survived by his wife of 56 years, Sandra Fay; sisters, Kathryn Pfaff of Ravenna, Mary (Tom) Holbrook of Grand Rapids; brother, John (Margaret) Wells of Lamont; brother-in-law, Carl (Claire) Dennison of Hart; several nieces, nephews, and special friends, states his obituary. 

“A celebration of life will be held in Hart at a later date when family and friends can meet without restrictions. In memory of Bill, please consider contributions to Lori’s Voice or to Masonic Lodge Oceana Wigton Benona Lodge #200.”

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