Obituaries » Carl Holland Wells

Carl Holland Wells

January 5, 1936 - July 12, 2022

Carl Holland Wells, 86, of Bedford passed away on Tuesday, July 12, 2022. He was born on January 5, 1936 in Bedford, VA. A son of the late Christopher Carl Wells and Sarah Augusta Holland Wells.

Carl was a member of Bedford Baptist church for many years. His presence within our community through civic groups and memberships was very evident. He was a 60 + year member of Liberty #95 Masonic Lodge, Scottish Rite Valley of Lynchburg, Bedford Elks Lodge #2844, Bedford Moose Lodge #1897, Blue Ridge Chitterling Club, Bedford Gobbler Club, Past member of Lions Club and the Kazim Shriners. Carl loved his family and friends and always enjoyed spending time with them. His career in Law Enforcement consisted of so many roles but most importantly his role as Bedford County Sheriff for twenty-one years and four months was his proudest. Serving Bedford County was always a pleasure to him. He was loved by so many and will be missed in the days ahead.

Left to cherish his memory is his loving wife of 64 years, Ora Dale Padgett Wells; his two children, David Carl Wells, and his wife, Teresa Wells and Bonnie Wells Schmidt; three grandchildren, Christopher Carl Wells, and wife Christine Wells, Ethan Gregg Wells and Caden Wells Schmidt; one great granddaughter, Collins Everly Wells. Also surviving are numerous other nieces, nephews, cousins, and many friends.

For those wishing to make memorial contributions in Carl’s memory please consider Bedford Baptist Church Building Fund, The American Cancer Society, or Charity of Choice.

A memorial service and celebration of Carl’s life will be conducted at 11:00 am on Saturday, July 23, 2022, at Bedford Baptist Church with Rev. Dr. David L. Henderson and Rev. Phil Bailey officiating. Masonic rites to follow the memorial service at the church. The family will receive friends with fellowship from 6:00 until 8:00pm on Friday, July 22, 2022, at Tharp Funeral Home & Crematory, Bedford. To send condolences online please visit

Burial Date July 23, 2022

Condolences & Tributes

Celebrate Carl's life with a short message, photo or video!

Carl was a classmate and friend of mine. Ronnie Laughlin’s comments on tv summed up Carl’s work life and friendships. Carl will be sorely missed by everyone who knew him. My thoughts and prayers are with the family.

Posted by Smith Fariss on July 22, 2022

David and the family of Carl Wells: I am so sorry to hear of his passing. He was a good man and wonderful sheriff. May God give you all peace and comfort during this difficult time.

Posted by Susan Reece on July 21, 2022

Neighbor, classmate, lifetime friend and more, these things describe the Carl Wells that I knew in both a work and personal relationship for over 80 years. Although he could be tough if the situation called for it, he was also a very kind, patient, helpful and compassionate person when these traits were needed by anyone. He will be greatly missed by the local people, Virginians, and many others. Joyce and I will certainly be among this group Ora Dale, and please let us know if we can help you or any of your family in any way.

Posted by Larry D. Lynch on July 18, 2022

My sincere condolences to Bonnie, Caden, and Dale. Carl was a kind and generous soul and he will be missed.

Posted by Gregory Golladay on July 16, 2022

I am truly sorry the loss of your Father. He was a Great God fearing man. A man that was respected, admired, and loved by his family and by the people of Bedford County and this state. He will be truly missed.

Posted by Mark Custer on July 15, 2022

We are saddened by the passing of our good friend Carl Wells. We wish his family well.

Posted by Buddy and Betty Kirby on July 15, 2022

Sorry to hear of Sherrif Wells passing. He was a good Sherrif for Bedford County. Condolences to the family.

Posted by Everett R Wood on July 15, 2022

David and family, sorry to hear of your dads passing. The Wells name carry’s on in the Law enforcement community, something I bet he was very proud of.

Posted by Dave Flynn on July 15, 2022

I do not have the words to express my emotions upon learning of Carl’s passing he was a constant support durning my 42 years with Bedford Department of Social Services. I frequently would give him a call for advice on complicated issues, his insight was always forthright and comforting.

Posted by Leighton Langford,Jr. on July 14, 2022

I never met Mr. Wells but I have been told stories about my uncle Barry Dooley. He would get himself into trouble and only Sheriff Wells could handle him. I have always been a supporter of Sheriff Wells. Rest in peace.

Posted by Amanda Wheeler on July 14, 2022

Sheriff Carl Wells. One of Bedford, Virginias finest Gentleman ever. You Sir, will be missed by your family, friends, and the community. You will certainly be missed by our family. You were classmates and friends with our parents. We were friends and colleagues. You handed down sound advise as I took on a position in Law Enforcement. You presided over one of my friends weddings. I have an incredible amount of respect for you. I called you “Sheriff Wells” at my Uncles funeral and you said, “Sweetheart, I’m not the Sheriff anymore.” You just smiled back at me when I replied, “You will always be Sheriff to me.” The respect you have earned by simply being the gentle giant you were. You laugh, your jokes, your smile, that deep voice, your sincere kindness; ‘Well done my good and faithful servant.’ My sincere thoughts and prayers are with Mrs. Wells and your family. May you rest in peace and rise in glory Sheriff. 🙏🏻

Posted by Sheila Wilson on July 14, 2022

My thoughts and prayers are with Bonnie her sweet Mom, and David. Sheriff Wells was an icon. A great example of servant leadership and I am grateful for growing up with him as an influence . Rest well dear Sir.

Posted by Heather Newcomb on July 14, 2022

My sincerest condolences on the passing of Carl. My Mom and Dad worked with Carl on many community projects in Bedford over the years. He was a giant of a man but always had time to share a story or a laugh. May warm memories bring you peace and comfort. Bruce Chafin Rancho Mirage, CA

Posted by Bruce Chafin on July 14, 2022

Your family is in my thoughts and prayers I did not personally know sheriff weels But I served in law enforcement for 7 years and he is considered one of my brothers

Posted by Tracy Taylor on July 14, 2022

Dale & Family, So sorry to hear about Carl we will miss him coming by our house and giving a big wave he was a good man and will be missed try to remember the good times they will live in your hearts forever !!!! Vann & Linda Savage

Posted by Linda Savage on July 14, 2022

David/Bonnie and entire family. I’m sorry to read of your loss. I remember Sheriff Wells as a fine, fair and honest man. Prayers for all of you in this most difficult time.

Posted by Steve Reedy on July 14, 2022

My thoughts and prayers are with the family and loved ones of Sheriff Wells..

Posted by Lynda King on July 14, 2022

We are sorry to hear of Carl's passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with Ora Dale and the family during this time. Mom has been recollecting childhood memories of Carl and her brothers as they walked across the creek to visit and play together at her grandmother's house. May God embrace you with His love.

Posted by Kim Mitchell & Mae Cheek Karnes on July 14, 2022

So sorry for your loss of Carl. He was a great leader. He helped so much at Camp Jaycee. Also, We respected him so much. Sending prayers and comfort.

Posted by Eddie & Jan Markham on July 14, 2022

To the family of Carl Wells saddened to hear of Carl's passing. I think everyone will remember Carl as being as big as life, a fair and honest man, and that voice that only he had. RIP you have served and given so much.

Posted by Ronald Toms on July 14, 2022

Dale & family, I'm so sorry to hear of Carl's passing. Gene always thought so much of Carl and we always enjoyed our interactions with both of you at the Sheriff's conventions. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Posted by Carolyn Richardson on July 14, 2022

So very sorry to hear of Carl's passing. He was a neighbor and a friend to me as well as my family. His voice was deep but soothing when he spoke, and I will remember him with kind thoughts forever. My thoughts go out to Ora Dale, David, Bonnie and their families. May you find peace within your family and friends love.

Posted by Dreamer Teass Walton on July 14, 2022

Carl was a professional who commanded the respect of everyone in our profession. As president of the Virginia Sheriffs Association, he was held in the highest esteem by his fellow Virginia sheriffs. He distinguished himself as a leader and was respected by those who sough his counsel. I’m honored to have known him and counted him as a friend.

Posted by John W. Jones on July 14, 2022

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