Ethel Trula Wells, 96, of Sun Valley, Idaho, passed away Oct. 1, 2013, in Meridian, Idaho. with her family at her side.
Ethel was born Jan. 8, 1917, in Topeka, Kan., to Albert and Myrtle Senne. She grew up in the family home at 818 Alabama in Lawrence, Kan., near the campus of the University of Kansas. She entered KU at the age of 15 and became a loyal Jayhawk for life. She left college during the last semester of her senior year to get married, and was very proud when she completed her bachelor’s degree in sociology some 35 years later from Boise State University.
Her first marriage to Roy Crawford II produced two sons, Berry Crawford and Roy Crawford III. The family moved in the late 40s from Topeka, Kan., to Boulder, Colo., to operate a chicken ranch and later to Estes Park, Colo., to start a barbecue restaurant, the Frontier Grill.
Ethel’s second marriage to Art Voorhis produced a third son, Art Voorhis Jr. Soon after the family moved to Boise, Idaho, from Colorado, Ethel began her career with the Idaho Department of Employment where she worked until her retirement. She received the national award for women in business in 1970 from the American Business Women’s Association and two years later was honored as Idaho State Employee of the Year. She also served as president of the Idaho Mental Health Association between 1970 and 1976.
Ethel married a third time to Dwight Wells and took up two new passions: dancing and tennis. When Dwight passed away, she moved to Sun Valley, Idaho, where she refined her tennis game and won national titles in both singles and doubles. In 1997, she won the bronze medal at the Senior Olympics in singles.
She also loved water aerobics, cross-country skiing, and frequent walks with her beloved dog, Stanley. Ethel was barely taller than 5 feet and Stanley was a Great Pyrenees. Her family suspects that she reveled in their outings together in her white convertible.
Ethel devoted much of her time to volunteer work, serving more than 20 years at Moritz Community Hospital and St Luke’s Wood River Medical Center. She also served on the Community Library board and was a host for the jazz festival for many years. In 2009, she was nominated to the Heritage Court of Blaine County. This was a great honor for “Lady Ethel.”
Ethel was an inspiration to her family and many friends. She will be long remembered for her warm and generous spirit, and for her love and compassion for all of God’s creatures.
She is survived by her three sons, their wives, seven grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at a later date for family and friends.