Obituary: Earl Robert (Bob) Wellman

Earl Robert (Bob) Wellman of Minden, passed from this life on September 20, 2009. Bob was born on June 26, 1924, in Paterson, N.J. His father, Earl Henry Wellman and mother, Alice Brown Wellman are both deceased. His son, James Henry Wellman passed away in 2006 as well as his granddaughter, Shari Lynn Sousa. Bob is survived by his beloved wife, Verne O. Wellman of Minden; his sister, Dorothy Gillemot and her husband, George Gillemot of Franktown; his sons, Michael Robert Wellman of Port Ludlow, Wash., and Randy Balough of Newbury Park, Calif.; and daughter, Claire Powers of Newbury Park, Calif. He is also survived by grandchildren, Travis Balough, Jason Wellman, James C. Wellman, Shawn Wellman, Savannah Wellman, Kimberly Smith, Steven Moline, and Michele Moline; and four great-grandchildren.

Bob graduated from Santa Monica (California) High School in June of 1942. He enlisted in the Navy in November of 1942 and served three years during WWII and participated in the landings on Iwo Jima and Okinawa while aboard the U.S.S. Missoula, APA 211. His ship participated in the occupation of Japan in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945. He enlisted in the Naval Reserve in 1946 and was promoted to chief petty officer prior to being recalled to active duty in 1951. He served for 19 months, five of which were in Korean waters on the Destroyer, U.S.S. James E. Kyes, DD 787.

Bob attended the University of California, Santa Barbara, University of California, Los Angeles, the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kan., and Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, La. He majored in industrial relations / personnel and finance.

Bob was employed by Associated Telephone Company L.T.D. of California in July of 1947 in Santa Monica. Associated later became a part of GTE. During his 40 year career with GTE, he held numerous positions in the supply department, station installation and repair, outside plant engineering, personnel, public relations, and division management all in the California company. As the years progressed, he held vice president positions in Western California Telephone Company headquartered in Los Gatos, Calif., GTE Michigan, and GTE Florida. He was elevated to president of GTE Pennsylvania in 1978 and GTE Ohio in 1980. He completed his career with GTE as executive vice president chief operating officer of GTE California, the largest telephone operating company within GTE.

Bob was a past member of the following: Public Relations Society of America, Personnel and Industrial Relations Association, Rotary International, Kiwanis, United Way of Muskegon County, Mich., United Way of Columbus, Ohio, President of Junior Achievement of Santa Clara County, Calif., president of Junior Achievement of Muskegon County, Mich., board member and co-financial director of United Way of Ventura County, Calif., board member of American Cancer Society of Ventura County, Calif., Life-member of Independent Telephone Pioneer Association, Life-member of Veterans of Foreign Wars and a member of the American Legion.

Bob said many times that he felt blessed to have had such a wonderful family and so many friends over his 85 years. But mostly that he and Verne had so many happy and loving years together. Verne was his wife, friend, companion, and lover.

A visitation will precede the funeral service at 11 a.m. Friday, Sept. 25, 2009 at Walton's Chapel of the Valley, 1281 N. Roop St., Carson City. Interment will be in the Valley Oaks Memorial Park in Westlake Village, Calif. A celebration of life gathering will immediately follow the service at Glen Eagles.

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