Robert (Bob) Henry Wells (3.9.1938 - 22.10.19)
Local identity and much-loved long-term resident, Bob Wells, was recently farewelled by more than 300 people who packed into his memorial service at Winmalee Presbyterian Church.
Known to many as 'Bob the baker', to others as their Boys and Girls' Club instructor, to others as founder and loyal stalwart member of the Springwood and Winmalee Presbyterian Church, but to all as a gentle, caring, honest, loving and genuine man. He will be sorely missed by the Mountains community, all his friends, colleagues and particularly his family: his dearly beloved wife, Joy, his sons, Andrew, Bradley and Malcolm, his daughters-in-law and his four granddaughters.
Born Robert Henry Wells in Guildford on September 3, 1938 to mother Sylvia and father Arthur, Bob had three older brothers (Arthur, John and Dick) and two younger sisters (Eyvonne and Sylvia). Of his schooling, he attended Old Guildford Primary then Parramatta Jnr High, but by his own admission, "I hated it. I wagged school a lot."
Little wonder that he was much happier at his first job which was as an apprentice baker. Thus began a relationship with dough that would last his entire life.
Indeed, it was at a work event that he spotted his future wife, Joy, across the dance floor. As he recounts it in his memoirs, "During the night an older drunk fellow started to annoy Joy so I moved in and asked her to dance with me and she did (possibly to get away from him). After the dancing stopped, her brother Jim, slipped me her phone number and address, and that was the beginning of our life-long love affair".
And so it was. They married on October 10, 1959 and, after his National Service, they both moved to the Mountains. Initially in Blackheath, they then bought land and built their family home on Hawkesbury Road Springwood, and have lived there ever since.
It was in Springwood where they raised their three sons, and where Bob began his famous bread vendor business, where he led the Springwood and District Boys and Girls Club, helped out with the local Scouts, and became heavily involved in the local Presbyterian church.
Bob travelled much but in an unorthodox way. If it wasn't a fun family holiday in the caravan, he was always volunteering to help, be it in the mission fields of Vanuatu, amongst the Indigenous populations of Central Australia, or with his much-loved MMM (Mobile Mission Maintenance).
Having only just celebrated his 60th wedding anniversary, Bob passed away peacefully at home on October 22. A truly genuine man, loyal servant, loving husband, father and grandfather, Bob lives on in those who were lucky enough to have had the privilege of knowing him. To the Blue Mountains, the church, his family and friends, he leaves a legacy of service, joy, integrity. and love.
"Here was a Man. We shall not look upon his like again" [Hamlet I:ii:186]
- Written by his son Bradley Wells