James Francis Wellman October 3, 1925 – January 18, 2021 (Age 95) James Francis Wellman of Longview passed away with his family by his side on Monday, January 18, 2021 at the age of 95. Jim was the oldest of two children born to C.I. and Neva Wellman of Oklahoma. Growing up during the Great Depression taught him hard work and the value of a dollar, which were lessons he passed down to his children and grandchildren.
After school, he enlisted in the Army Airforce, serving in World War II as the nose gunner on a B-24 Bomber that flew several missions over Italy. After the war he returned home to Oklahoma, married his sweetheart Salinda Ann Shelton in 1947, and started a family. Soon that family grew to include sons Paul, Michael, Keith and Forrest and daughter Salinda.
Never far from the airfield, he began a long career as a sheet metal welder in the Houston area for the major airlines of the day. After retiring from building planes, he operated a successful business servicing gum machines in locations across Texas, and later worked in private security in Waco.
Jim was a man of great faith and often recalled his own conversion story when teaching others about Jesus. He spoke often of the people that influenced him and some of his deepest and long-lasting friendships were with other believers. He worked tirelessly in his local church as a song leader, treasurer, and in a leadership role as an elder for several congregations.
He was preceded in death by his parents, sister Jeanne, daughter-in-law Cindy and son Keith from leukemia at age 19, a loss that he carried the rest of his life.
He is survived by his bride of 73 years, Salinda; children Paul, Mike, Salinda, and Forrest; grandchildren Jason, Deann, Sharon, Tina, Leah, Cody, Katelyn, Sarah, Alexandria, Keith, Skylar, Kendall and Kayla and numerous great grandchildren who knew him by many names including Grandad, Grandpa, Grandfather and Peepaw.
He was loved and will be greatly missed.
A memorial service will be announced at a later date.
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