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In Memoriam: Norman J. Wells


CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. (3-8-13)A funeral Mass was celebrated March 2 at St. Mary’s Church of Randolph for Norman J. Wells, who taught medieval philosophy at Boston College for 42 years. Dr. Wells died on Feb. 26 at the age of 86.

An expert on the work of Descartes, Dr. Wells authored or co-authored numerous articles in such publications as The Review of Metaphysics, American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly and Journal of the History of Philosophy. In addition to teaching philosophy classes, Dr. Wells also was involved in the University’s Medieval Studies program.

A native of Boston, Dr. Wells served in the US Navy during World War II and graduated from Boston College in 1950, later earning his doctorate from the University of Toronto. Dr. Wells taught at Fordham University and St. John’s Seminary as well as BC.

Dr. Wells retired in 1999, but remained active in academics and writing — in 2010, he published “Descartes and the Coimbrans on material falsity” in The Modern Schoolman.

Dr. Wells is survived by his sons Matthew, Kevin and David, his daughter Monica Reilly, and four grandchildren. He was predeceased by his wife Lenore (Simmons) and son Gary.

Burial was in St. Mary Cemetery, Randolph.

Contributions may be made in Dr. Wells’ memory to the VNA Care Network and Hospice, 120 Thomas St., Worcester, Mass. 01608.

—Office of News & Public Affairs