Our dear sweet mother, Patricia Ann Fairbanks Wells, passed away surrounded by her family on Saturday March 26, 2022, due to complications of PSP. There are not enough words to adequately describe our mother in a simple obituary. To say that mom was an elect lady would be a true statement, but she was so much more to our family. She was our north star and our rock. Her example of kindness, love and compassion will be our beacon as we continue throughout this life.
Pat, as she was known to family and friends, was born March 28th, 1935, in Indianapolis, Indiana to Lynn Reed Fairbanks Jr. and Josephine Wood Fairbanks. The only girl in a family of boys, she and her brothers; Lynn, Fred, Richard and Mark would grow up to be best friends, a closeness that lasted throughout their lives. Nothing came between she and her brothers.
Mom grew up in the Harvard/Yale area of Salt Lake City where she graduated from East High and attended the University of Utah. Mom married our father, Robert (Bob) Faris Wells March 23, 1953, in the Salt Lake City Temple. After a short time in San Antonio Texas, for dad’s Army deployment, they returned to Utah and for over 60 years they called Florence Circle in the Canyon Rim neighborhood home.
Pat was mother to six “perfect” children, at least in her eyes. Jeff, Robyn, Scott, Tom, Deb and Sara, gave her a run for her money proving that love has no boundaries. There wasn’t anything she wouldn’t do for us; which included 20 years of getting up everyday at 4 am to work as a bookkeeper at Dan’s to provide what we needed: cleats, mitts, bats, knee pads, piano lessons, missions, studies abroad all the while cheering us on from the side lines. Mom made our dreams come true. Once grandchildren began to arrive, we quickly took a back seat. Her love expanded with each child, and nothing brought her more joy than to see the sweet face of each newborn baby. Her goal was to show each of them how much she loved them. Grandma’s house meant happiness, crafts, trips down the gully, candy making and games. She wanted to create memories that would remind them of her love for them.
Pat had a travel bug and spent many exciting years traveling the world with Bob. While dad was busy singing in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir mom was busy creating a monthly study club with other couples from the choir, whose friendships they would enjoy over many years. One study club was not enough so she created another with friends from the neighborhood. Each club deepened the love she had with her friends and created a space to share ideas about parenting, solving life’s problems and discussing gospel topics and world events.
Mom made lifelong friends; from elementary school, from Bob’s time with the choir, and from her beloved Canyon Rim 2nd Ward. Mom made you feel as if you were her best friend. When you were in her presence you had her full attention, she listened without judgement and provided a safe space for laughter, sorrow, comfort, and joy. Mom had a quiet, witty sense of humor and recognized the irony of life, all the while never making fun at others expense.
Mom was a faithful member of the LDS church. Nothing was more important to her than living a life devoted to her faith and her testimony of the Savior sustained her throughout her life. Each calling she received was an opportunity to express her faith and to be an example of service to her children. Mom’s life was blessed by her callings in the Relief Society, Young Woman’s, Gospel Doctrine, and Primary. She truly loved everyone she served.
PSP is a cruel disease that robbed our mother of everything she enjoyed; freedom of movement, the ability to talk, to care for herself and the ability serve others. Mom led by example through selfless care for her own mother in her final years. We witnessed her complete devotion to her every need, and this became our guiding star as mom entered her own final years. Mom’s dream was to stay in her home and we all worked to accomplish this. We are forever grateful for her caregivers that helped make this possible. Stephanie Foster cared for her as if she were her own mother. Mom’s granddaughter Amy Moyes and her family spent each Monday night bringing dinner and a small slice of heaven into moms’s life. Our sister Sara truly embodied our mothers example of love and sacrifice as she tenderly cared for her every medical need. It was Sara that guided us through mom's last days, and we will always be thankful for her compassion and guidance. Along with her family she made sure that mom got out in the sunshine, took her on car rides for ice cream and to see Sophie's horses, and that the yard was always cared for. Sophie, her granddaughter, spent each Monday caring for her grandma in the same loving fashion that mom cared for her. None of this would have been possible if our sister Deb and her wife Melissa had not moved next door to mom. With mom as her guide Deb displayed genuine sweetness, tenderness and patience as she wove a protective web around our mom. We can never repay her for her love and devotion to mom in her last years except to say thank you and we love you. Thank you to Ronda Brooks, our special friend and nurse, and all the others who came to serve mom: Amy and Sullivan Howard, Anne Pipe, Edie Kershaw and John Neiman. In mom’s last years, as her ability to speak was greatly diminished, she expressed her love through her eyes, and they lit up when anyone entered the room. In her final days her eyes were filled with love and appreciation as she was visited by friends and family.
Pat is survived by her children; Jeff Wells (Kathy deceased) Robyn Packer (Rod), Scott Wells (Sheri), Tom Wells (Noriko), Deb Wells (Melissa Hickman), Sara Rimington (Bryce), 15 grandchildren, 25 great grandchildren and 2 great-great grandchildren and her brothers Fred (Carrol), Richard (Nadine) and Mark (Janice) . She is preceded in death by her husband Bob, Jeff’s wife Kathy, brother Lynn and his wife Carol, her parents and a granddaughter, Tess Rimington. We take great comfort in the reunion mom is having with those who went before her.
Funeral services will be held Thursday March 31, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. at 3000 South 3100 East, Salt lake City, Utah, there will be a viewing prior to the service from 9 to 10:45. Interment will be in the Salt Lake City Cemetery next to her beloved husband Bob and her parents.