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Benton Taylor Wells

July 11, 1938 — August 22, 2023

Cherokee, Iowa

Benton Taylor Wells



Benton “Ben” Taylor Wells, age 83 of Cherokee, IA, passed away Tuesday, August 23, 2023, at his home in Cherokee, IA, surrounded by his family. Memorial services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, August 29, 2023, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Cherokee. Father Dan Rupp will officiate. Burial will be at a later date. Visitation with family present will be held from 5:00-7:00 p.m. Monday night at the Greenwood-Schubert Funeral Home in Cherokee, IA. There will be a 7:00 p.m. prayer service following visitation at the funeral home. The Greenwood-Schubert Funeral Home in Cherokee, IA, is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be sent to the family at


Benton (Ben) Taylor Wells, the son of Alfred and Bettye (Burns) Wells, was born on July 11, 1938, in Oakland, CA. His childhood years were spent in Hayward, CA, where he attended school. He later enlisted in the U.S. Air Force.

Ben met his 1st wife, Juanita in Denver and together they had four girls and lived in Eugene Oregon, Iater relocating to Paullina, Iowa. During this time Ben drove truck for the logging industry as well as cross country, with the girls he enjoyed roller skating, traveling for his model railroading hobby, and ‘chasing’ trains.

In 1986 Ben met and married Mary Loutsch Goebel.  They became a blended family with Mary’s three children, Ben’s daughters, and later two additional children.

Ben’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to various business ventures. Operating a lawn care business in Oregon, mail order business in Paullina, the Electric Eye in Cherokee in the late 80’s, and Cherokee Taxi service until the early 90’s

Ben’s love of trains started at a very young age, his dad worked for the railroad and was involved in model railroading which lead Ben to a life-long obsession with trains.  When not involved with remodeling the house for his growing family, you could find him tinkering with his railroad, building set’s , building trains and getting ready for train shows.  Many family vacations involved traveling to a model railroad conventions and train site seeing. Ben received recognition for regional and national competitions for model railroading.

Ben loved to dress up and play his part when attending rendezvous, and making handcrafts to sell and trade, where he was known as ‘Big Ben’.  Eventually this blossomed into making leather boots and purses and dressing as a wizard to be a vendor at renaissance festivals.  He and Mary enjoyed traveling with the younger children in the remodeled school bus to various rendezvous and renaissance events in Iowa and surrounding states.  In 2007, they took a family trip by train to Navada/California to see his Mom and  sister This gave Ben the opportunity to introduce his family to places and sites he enjoyed as a young man.

Ben loved reading his vast collection of Louis L’amour books and his collection of model railroad magazines that date back to 1932. Ben loved to play board games and was very competitive at Cribbage, Stock Market, and Solar Quest among other games.

Ben enjoyed celebrating holidays with the family.  He especially liked to dress up for the annual family Halloween party, wrapping Christmas presents, and hiding Easter eggs.

Due to a stroke in 2010, Ben spent 13 years at home with Mary by his side.  He enjoyed many visits with friends and family, telling stories and jokes and occasionally having a beer.

On Tuesday, August 22, 2023, Ben passed away at his home in Cherokee, IA, with his family by his side. He was preceded in death by his parents, Alfred and Bettye Wells, and his daughter, Robin Ashley.

He will lovingly be remembered by his wife of nearly 37 years, Mary Wells of Cherokee, IA; children: Traci Koeppel of Sioux City, IA, Sandy (Bob) Weldon of Quimby, IA, Shawna (Nick) Sonksen of Sioux City, IA, Rhena Wells of Westminster, CO, Joe (Kiane) Goebel of Coon Rapids, IA, Keith (Maylissa) Wells of Cherokee, IA, EmlyRose (Rob) Arends of Newell, IA, Jesse Wells of Sioux Falls, SD and his former wife Ashley of Cherokee, IA; sister, Carolee Elder of Reno, NV; 24 grandchildren, 7 great-grandchildren, and one on the way.

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


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