- April 18, 1924 - March 16, 2017
- Cary, North Carolina
of Francis' Passing
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Arrangements made by
Brown-Wynne Funeral Home
Francis Raymond Welles (Frank) died peacefully on March 16 at Glenaire Retirement Community in Cary, NC. Frank was born in New York City in 1924, the son of Paul Welles and Elizabeth Galt Welles.
The fourth of five children, Frank grew up in Lexington, Virginia, where his father was a professor at VMI. He graduated from Episcopal HS in Alexandria, Virginia in 1942 and was drafted into the US Army infantry. He participated in heavy combat in Germany and Belgium with Company G of the 102nd Infantry Division. He was awarded a Purple Heart and the Bronze Star Medal for valorous service, and retained a life-long interest in World War II and military history. In 1953 he graduated from Amherst College where he was president of the Chi Psi fraternity.
After graduating from college, Frank settled in Raleigh and worked for Standard Oil Company before starting The Welles Company, an agricultural dehydration plant in Wake County with his brother, Paul, that lasted over 20 years. He was later involved in auto parts and insurance businesses, and was a keen personal investor and stock market expert. His volunteer service included membership in Raleigh Kiwanis, serving as treasurer of Meals on Wheels, and chairman of the Ravenscroft School board. He was a strong supporter of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill.
Frank was interested in economics and politics, and was conservative in both. He was also interested in the conservation of natural resources and wilderness. He loved his family, farming, investing, and running, but his passion was sailing - cruising and racing, which he learned as a boy at his family's summer home on Salter's Point, off Buzzard's Bay, Massachusetts. As an adult, he sailed for 40 years from Oriental, NC, and taught his four children to appreciate boating adventures. For his kindness and practicality, faith in God and devotion to his family, Frank will be cherished forever.
Surviving family include his loving wife and companion of 33 years, Mary Virginia Doty Welles, of Cary; children, Frances Welles Haman (Dave); Harris Welles; Molly Welles Lineberger (Steve); Tom Welles (Sandra); eight grandchildren in whom he took great delight, Sarah Haman Colette (Lee), Peter Haman (Elizabeth), Julia Haman, Evan Welles, Rachel Welles, Emily Lineberger, Steven Lineberger and John Lineberger; and great-granddaughter, Lillian Collette.
He is also survived by Mary Virginia's son, Mark Doty (Nancy), and daughter, Virginia Doty DeMarsh. He is predeceased by his first wife, Emily Welles Meymandi.
A celebration of Frank's life will be held at 2:00 pm on Saturday, March 25 in the Multi-Purpose Room at Glenaire Retirement Community, 4000 Glenaire Cir., Cary, NC. Memorials may be made to the Glenaire Foundation.