STERLING – James Garfield Wells, 90, born Dec. 19, 1921, went home to be with his Lord on Monday, Dec. 17, 2012.
James was one of five children born to Hilda (Carlson) and John Everett Wells at the family home in Rockford. His four older siblings welcomed him: Myrtle, Irene, Maynard, and Robert.
Jim married Dorothea “Dottie” Ivers on May 29, 1942. They celebrated 63 years of marriage before Dottie passed away in 2006.
Jim served in the Army infantry during World War II. He did tours in North Africa and Italy, and his unit helped liberate Bologna. He went overseas 10 days before his only child, Sandra, was born, and he didn’t see her until she was almost 3 years old.
Upon returning from the service, he worked at Rockford Photo Shop and Camera Craft. In 1954, Jim moved to Sterling and bought Harts Photo Shop. He changed the name to Sterling Camera Center. His success led to the opening of four more camera stores in Dixon, DeKalb, Rock Falls, and the Rockford area. Jim also owned and operated Twin City Travel Agency. Jim and Dottie traveled to 122 counties, many of them multiple times.
Jim was a member of the GYRO club. He enjoyed reading, going to The Precinct with the guys, his Smartphone, making his own greeting cards, the computer club, and prayer breakfast.
Jim is survived by his only child, Sandra Skrogstad; four grandchildren, Gary Skrogstad, Jack (Kim) Skrogstad, Scott (Lisa) Skrogstad, and Luann (Dr. Charles) Schollmeyer; and several great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and numerous friends.
He was preceded in death by his son-in-law, Jack.
Visitation will be from 9 to 10:45 a.m., followed by the funeral at 11 a.m., Friday at McDonald Funeral Home, 1002 12th Ave., Rock Falls, with Monsignor Thomas Dzielak, Pastor Paul Judd, and Pastor Phil Gronbach, co-officiating. Burial with military honors will be at Riverside Cemetery in Sterling.
In lieu of flowers, memorials have been established to St. Andrew Grade School and the Honor Flight Program.