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1935 Edna 2023

Edna Mae Wells

October 16, 1935 — July 13, 2023

Edna M. Wells, 87, of Newport, Rhode Island transitioned into the arms of our Lord and Savior on July 13, 2023. She was formerly married to the late Billy Wells, and the late John C. Nelson, Sr. who was her best friend and the father of her seven children. Born in Newport, Rhode Island on October 16, 1935, she was the daughter of the late Clifford and Jennie (Carter) Bryan.

Edna is survived by her four children, John C. Nelson, Jr. (Chrissy) of Newport, RI, Helena A. Miller (Glenn) of Middletown, RI, Lawrence E. Nelson (Victoria) of Chesapeake, VA and Mark G. Nelson, of Newport, RI; her sister Sandra LeComte, of Fall River; sisters-in-law Ruth Bryan of Fayetteville, NC, Marsha Bryan, Wanda Bryan both of Fall River, MA; brothers-in-law Ronnie Gilmette of Fall River, MA and Robert Smith (Karen) of New York. She is also survived by her maternal aunt Barbara Williams of Newport, RI. Edna was a blessing to her nine grandchildren, 27 great-grandchildren, and 26 great-great grandchildren. She also leaves behind several nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

Edna was predeceased by her children Linda L. Hickman, Norman E. Nelson, and David C. Nelson, as well as brothers Clifford Bryan, Jr., Kenneth Bryan, Sr., and Jerome Bryan Sr. and Sisters Anna Bryan, Martha Gilmette, and Marva Bryan.

Edna attended Rogers High School and the University of Rhode Island earning an associate degree. Edna worked at the Newport Public Library for 30 years as a Circulation Supervisor - retiring in 2000. Edna served as past Worthy Matron for the Queen Esther Chapter #2 Order of the Eastern Star. She was a dedicated member of Community Baptist Church serving the Lord in many ways including as Diaconate, Church Clerk, Church Secretary, Senior Choir, Gospel Choir, Mass Choir, Marion J. Brown Visitation Committee, Vacation Bible School staff, Sunday School, Women's Everready Society, Sisterhood Ministry and much more. She was also a member of the Mora Hammonds Scholarship Committee.

Edna worked on the Board of Trustees for New Visions of Newport County (now EBCAP). She worked for DCYF as a counselor for young girls; she served with the Newport County Branch NAACP, Newport Public Library Chinese Tea Room, Hospice Counselor for the Philip Hulitar Hospice Center in Providence, RI. She was also a Notary Public and a voting registrar. In 1997 Edna received the George T. Downing Award in recognition of her service to the community. Edna loved serving the Lord having a heart and spirit to help others. Her favorite scripture is Isaiah 40:31, "But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint."

Edna mostly enjoyed her family, especially her grandchildren. She loved family gatherings and would frequently invite friends and other relatives to join. Edna would travel to Virginia to visit family there as well as Newport friends who had relocated there.

Visiting hours will be held on Wednesday, July 19, 2023 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 pm in the Community Baptist Church, 50 Dr. Marcus F. Wheatland Blvd, Newport, RI. Funeral services will immediately follow at 12:00 pm in the Community Baptist Church. The service will be livestreamed at Burial will follow in Newport Memorial Park, Middletown, RI.

Donations in Edna's memory may be made to Community Baptist Church, 50 Dr. Marcus F. Wheatland Blvd, Newport, RI 02840.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Edna Mae Wells, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, July 19, 2023

10:00am - 12:00 pm

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Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Starts at 12:00 pm

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