Ellen V.P. Wells, formerly a resident of Crawford and Falmouth, died peacefully and of natural causes on Aug. 14, in Philadelphia, where she has resided for the past several years. She was 93. She had a busy life: Mother of three sons, William F. Newbold, David D. Newbold and F. Eugene Newbold (always called Dickey in the family, who predeceased her because of cancer).
She attended Vassar college for three years, then married Bill Newbold in Sept. 1949, in Northeast Harbor. The reception was held at the Grant-VanPelt summer residence called “Delights” still standing now a total of 120 years. Ellen eventually completed her college degree with a BA from the University of Pennsylvania.
Her career in journalism began with a local newspaper in a section of NW Philadelphia known as Chestnut Hill. She became the editor, from 1958 to 1971, (the Local for short) which became a community mainstay at a time when the town was dwindling and needed a boost. Owned by the Chestnut Hill Community Association (CHCA), both CHCA and the Local are still thriving today.
Ellen used her editorial position to advocate for issues far larger than just her segment of a big city, racial justice, confronting corruption in Philadelphia, opposition to the Vietnam War, and later the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. She joined Witness for Peace and did fact-finding missions in Central America, Haiti and Cuba during the 1970’s and later, when she was no longer the Local editor.
She led her family on several adventures, such as rafting the Green and Colorado rivers, a tour of Spain, Italy and France, and of course, trip to Maine. She always did her best to encourage the joy of music and passion for gardening and horticulture. She received a Masters degree landscape design from Temple University in 1976 (approx.).
She married Lloyd Wells, then the president of CHCA, a great fund-raiser and city planner. They moved to an old hunting lodge on Crawford Lake, where she demonstrated her passion for gardening. After several years there, they moved to Falmouth on the coast and again she grew beautiful gardens and continued her interest in several organizations devoted to peace in the world and control of gun violence in Maine.
Of her two brothers and two sisters, she is survived by one brother, Dr. John VanPelt of Surry; two sons, William and David Newbold; and six grandchildren plus three great-grandchildren.
There will be a memorial service next summer when the extended family can agree on time, place and date.