William J. Wells Jr.
Evening Sun editor
William J. Wells Jr., a retired Evening Sun senior makeup editor, died Friday of heart failure at his home in Towson. He was 87.
Mr. Wells began his 45-year career with The Sun and The Evening Sun in the circulation department in 1928. He became a police reporter a year later, and for the next three years, worked all police districts of the city.
He also covered general assignments, state offices, city and federal courts and was an aviation, car and shipping editor.
In later years, he worked as an assistant to the staff editor, a sports copy editor, a sports makeup editor, an assistant city editor and a city editor. He became an Evening Sun senior makeup editor in 1949 and worked in that position until he retired in 1973.
Mr. Wells was an avid sportsman throughout his life. He liked to hunt, bowl, golf and fish. He played semiprofessional baseball in Harford County for several teams in the 1920s.
"He was not satisfied with second," said John Meade, his son-in-law. "Everything had to be first. This was the way his whole life was. This was the way with his work at the Sunpapers. This was the way after his retirement. He was not satisfied with anything that was not perfection."
Mr. Wells was among the first 15,000 people in the United States to receive a private airplane pilot's license. He was a charter member and past vice president of the Chesapeake Flying Club, one of the first for private pilots in the nation. He flew small planes until the 1940s.
After he retired, he carved as many as 200 ducks, geese, swans and birds from pictures in Audubon books and from memories of his duck-hunting days.
Mr. Wells traveled throughout the United States and in many other countries.
He was a native Baltimorean and graduated in 1925 from Calvert Hall College. He graduated from the University of Maryland School of Law in 1927.
He lived in Towson for 56 years.
A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church, Baltimore and Ware avenues in Towson.
He is survived by his wife of 57 years, the former Lydia M. Jones; a son, William J. Wells III of Manheim, Germany; a daughter, Anne M. Meade of West Chester, Pa.; and three grandsons.
The family suggests memorial contributions to the Calvert Hall College Fund, 8102 LaSalle Road, Towson 21286.
Jane Hoban Pelesz
Jane Hoban Pelesz, a retired secretary at the Social Security Administration in Woodlawn, died Friday of complications of rheumatoid arthritis at her home in Temple Terrace, Fla. She was 71.
Mrs. Pelesz, the former Jane Delores Hoban, lived for more than 30 years in Arbutus and Woodlawn while she worked in the commissioner's office at the Social Security Administration. She retired in 1978 and moved to Florida soon after.
Born and reared in Scranton, Pa., she graduated from St. Patrick's High School in Olyphant, Pa., and had a year of secretarial training at a Pennsylvania business school.
She came to Baltimore in 1942 during World War II to work for the federal government.
She loved to cook, travel, read newspapers and write letters to faraway friends and family members. She also liked to discuss current affairs and was always up to date on the news, family members said.
She was an active parishioner and volunteer at Ascension Catholic Church in Arbutus and Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Woodlawn.
A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated tomorrow at Corpus Christi Roman Catholic Church in Temple Terrace.
Mrs. Pelesz is survived by her husband of 45 years, Peter Pelesz; two daughters, Nancy Paris of Owings Mills and Elaine Rio of Tampa, Fla.; three sisters, Celeste Marciano and Marie Kelly of Catonsville and Anne O'Brien of Endicott, N.Y.; two brothers, Edward Hoban of Louisville, Ky., and Michael Hoban of Columbia; two granddaughters; and several nieces and nephews.
The family suggests memorial donations to the Arthritis Foundation, 22 Truck House Road, Severna Park 21146.
Charles J. Amato
Charles Joseph Amato, a retired shoe salesman, died Thursday of prostate cancer at St. Agnes Hospital. He was 78.
The Westview resident worked for 50 years at the Hess shoe store, near Baltimore and Howard streets in downtown Baltimore, before retiring four years ago.
Born and raised in Baltimore, he served in the Army in World War II and was awarded the Purple Heart.
He liked to swim, cook spaghetti dinners and sit and gaze at the Middle River at Bowleys Quarters, where his stepson, George Stroupe, resides. His favorite vacation spot was Ocean City, where he would go as often as possible.
He is survived by his wife of 30 years, the former Marylin Pearl Thomas; a stepdaughter, Dorothy Spicer of Essex; a brother, Paul Amato of Towson; a sister, Marian Gardiner of Joppatowne; six step-grandchildren; six step-great-grandchildren; four nephews; and four nieces.
Services will be at 11 a.m. tomorrow at the Leonard Ruck Funeral Home, 5303 Harford Road in Baltimore. The family suggested donations be made to cancer organizations.