Man Goes To Grave on Front Loader, By Request!

December 14, 2009
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imageMelvina Patterson pointed to her father?s casket on a platform on the forklift of a garbage truck Saturday morning and said, ?This is who he was.? The 21-year-old woman echoed emotion and deep respect, because her dad, Archie Lee Wells, drove a garbage truck in Twin Falls for more than 20 years.

A malignant brain tumor claimed the life of the 43-year-old father of seven and grandfather of 12 on Monday.

?That was his final wish,? Patterson said. ?My dad told me from the time I was a little girl that he was not a rich man. He didn?t want to be carried in a hearse.

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??I?m a garbage man and I want to be carried on the forklift of my garbage truck,?? she said he had told her.

In honor of his wish, Wells was taken to his resting place at Sunset Memorial Park on the forklift attached to the front of the Mack truck, leading a procession of Western Waste Services garbage trucks through Twin Falls.

About 300 family and friends attended services for Wells on Saturday at the Twin Falls West Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Harrison Street.

?He was an awesome dad,? Patterson said. ?Everything would end up in a water fight.

?He taught me to read my scriptures and say my prayers. He loved to go to the temple.?

?He was very selfless, always putting off his own needs for his family,? said another daughter, Nancy Preston.

She recalled when her father woke up after a recent brain surgery.

?He asked for his scriptures, a double cheeseburger and a Mountain Dew,? Preston said.

Blake Gardner, an LDS stake president from Wendell, reminisced about his friendship with Wells and the good times, including the water fights.

?He never threw water on me in church, but any time we were out of the church it was fair game,? he said.

Wells was a Boy Scout leader and was active in service work for his church.

Source: John Plestina, jplestina@magicvalley.com or 208-358-7062.

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