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Father of DUP MLA Jim Wells passes away at age of 94

By David Young

The death has been announced of Harry Wells, the father of Jim Wells MLA, the former Stormont Health Minister.

Mr Wells (94) passed away on Thursday at his Moira home, surrounded by his family.

Last night, MLA Jim Wells spoke movingly about his late father.

"In the end, he just faded away," Mr Wells said.

"He had a peaceful, pain-free passing,

"In the end, it was pneumonia which ended his life.

"It was expected, but at the same time it is still a shock to us all."

Mr Wells had farmed the same farm near Moira for 71 years, and had been married to his wife Doreen for more than half a century.

The Wells family are very long lived, the MLA said.

"Harry was married to my mother for 61 years.

"They received the telegram from the Queen in 2016 and they were both delighted to receive it.

"It was a very proud moment for them, and the telegram still sits on the mantelpiece, a great source of pride.

"He farmed the same farm for his entire life.

"His life was completely tied up in farming: he was not politically minded at all - not in the least.

"I think he was a bit surprised when I went off in that direction."

Harry had five children, nine grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

"Most of them were there at his bedside when he passed away," Mr Wells said. "There is never a pleasant way to end life, but to go without pain, softly and quietly, surrounded by your family at the age of 94 is perhaps something that many people would wish could happen."

Mr Wells' funeral took place at St John's Parish Church in Moira on Saturday.

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