Joel Douglas Wells, 85, of Orlando, Fla. and Morrill, died Monday, Aug. 15, 2011 at Waldo County General Hospital in Belfast. He had struggled for several years with dementia before passing away.

Known to his friends as “Doug,” or “J. D.,“ Mr. Wells was born in Orlando, Fla. in 1925 and was a proud “Florida cracker.” He served with the United States Navy during World War II, then attended the University of Florida, where he received a Master’s Degree in Engineering.

He spent his career working as an electrical engineer, traveling the world, and was instrumental in designing cellular phones and the Patriot missile. His work was key in developing and implementing cellular phone service for the entire country of Thailand. He spent time living in Bangkok and Paris.

However, no matter how many of the world’s cuisines he enjoyed, he still loved American pot roast, tacos, fried shrimp and Boston cream pie the best. He liked old horror movies, the Marx Brothers and the works of Gilbert & Sullivan. He was passionately fond of cats and owned many in his lifetime.

After retiring, Mr. Wells went to work for Walt Disney’s Epcot Center, distributing costumes and designing a computer program to organize their inventory that is still used today.

Mr. Wells spent approximately 80 of his 85 years living in his native Florida, but in 2010 he moved to Morrill to be cared for by his daughter. At the time of his death, he was being cared for by Hospice workers at Waldo County General Hospital in Belfast.

Mr. Wells was predeceased by his wife Claire in 1984, both parents and his brother Maxwell.

He is survived by his sister, Janis Westling, and his son, Kenneth Wells, both of Orlando, and his daughter Dorothy Wilson and her husband Steven Wilson, MD, of Morrill. He is also survived by three grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

No formal service is planned at this time. Mr. Wells will be cremated and part of his ashes will remain in Maine, to be planted with a new apple tree. The remainder will be taken to Florida to be reunited with the ashes of his wife.

Arrangements are being handled under the care of Direct Cremation of Maine, 182 Waldo Ave., Belfast. Online condolences can be made at