Clinton Fisk Wells Jr., a retired U.S. Department of Agriculture statistician and World War II veteran, died Saturday of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at his Oak Crest Village retirement community home.
He was 88.
Born in San Jose, Calif., Mr. Wells moved with his family to Washington when his father, a foreign agricultural commodity tariff expert, joined the Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service.
After graduating from Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School in 1941, he began his college studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. He left two years later to enlist in the Army.
During World War II, Mr. Wells served with the 16th Base Post Office in Guadalcanal, and also in New Caledonia and the Russell Islands.
After the war, he resumed his education at Georgetown University and then transferred to the University of Maryland, where he earned a bachelor's degree in 1947 in agricultural economics.
Mr. Wells joined the Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service. As a supervisory statistician, he was responsible for the preparation and publication of official government estimates of cash receipts and marketing indices.
He retired in 1978.
Mr. Wells, who lived near Dickerson in Montgomery County, decided in his retirement to grow Christmas trees at his 52-acre Cider and Ginger Farm.
He continued operating the farm until 2002, when he retired to Oak Crest Village.
Mr. Wells was an avid student of Maryland history and genealogy. He was an active member of the Society of Mayflower Descendants in Maryland.
His wife of 51 years, the former Barbara Dorsett, died in 1998.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday in the chapel at Oak Crest Village, 8800 Walther Blvd.
Surviving are his wife of 10 years, the former Elizabeth Carr; four daughters, Martha Appleby of Middletown, Deborah Nolan of Bowie, Pamela MacKenzie of Ellicott City and Leslie Flanigan of Clarksville; six grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter.