Patricia Paul Brown Wells, 91, of Chestnut Hill, an editor and community volunteer, died April 30 of Alzheimer’s disease at Chandler Hall Hospice Center in Newtown.
A copy editor, manuscript reader and proofreader, Mrs. Wells had developed a specialty in compiling indexes. She had worked for J.B. Lippincott & Co. and The Saturday Evening Post in Philadelphia and at D.C. Heath & Co. in Boston.
Among her most engaging assignments were “Catalogue of the Papers of James Boswell” at Yale University, “The Letters of William Lloyd Garrison” and “The Papers of William Penn.”
She also had worked as a copy editor at the Chestnut Hill Local.
Mrs. Wells was a volunteer at the Wissahickon Hospice, Morris Aboretum and the Lincoln Day Nursery, among others. She was an active member of the Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields in Chestnut Hill.
Well-versed in the classics, literature and poetry, she drew pleasure from books throughout her life. In her sixties, she took up the study of Greek at Chestnut Hill College.
Though naturally reserved, she had an adventurous spirit and inquiring mind: bicycling across Europe after World War II, organizing moves to Puerto Rico and Costa Rica for her growing family, and visiting sites from classical antiquity in Greece and Turkey.
Raised in Villanova, she graduated from The Shipley School and Bryn Mawr College. She earned a master’s degree in English literature from Oxford University, where she attended lectures by C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien.
A longtime resident of Chestnut Hill, Mrs. Wells was happiest working in her garden, looking after her beloved cats and dogs and spending time with her six children and ten grandchildren. She was married to Henry Wells for 57 years until his death in 2007.
She once remarked that her only failing as a wife was not learning to play golf.
“I didn’t have time,” she said.
She is survived by daughters Jane E. Wells, of Concord, Mass., Polly Wells, of Toronto, Canada, Alexandra Wells, of Glenside, and Emily H. Wells of Clarksboro, N.J.; sons Thomas G. Wells, of Yardley, and Anthony M. Wells of Conshohocken; a brother, Frederick Z. Brown of Washington, D.C.; a sister, Mary Armitt Brown, of Santa Rosa, Calif.; and 10 grandchildren
A memorial service will be held at 5 p.m. Thursday, June 19, at the Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, 8000 St. Martin’s Lane, Philadelphia, PA 19118. Memorial donations may be made to The All Saints Fund c/o Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields at the above address. – WF