Fulkerson - Stevenson Funeral Home It's all about saying goodbye. Springan - Stevenson Funeral Home
Fulkerson - Stevenson Funeral Home
Springan - Stevenson Funeral Home
It's all about saying goodbye.
Russel "Russ" E Wells
December 2, 1945 - September 29, 2019

Residence: Sidney, MT

The MonDak region has lost a newspaper icon. Russ Wells, born Dec. 5, 1945, passed away on Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019 just a few months shy of his 74th birthday.
Wells exhibited a talent for newspaper work from the outset. He participated in the publication of his high school paper and when he attended Dickinson College, he joined the college newspaper staff. He and a friend collaborated on the Me & Mrachek column, a feature that proved so popular everyone on campus knew Wells and his friend Don, by sight.
After attending Dickinson College, Wells went to work for the Dickinson Press as wire editor and then as sports editor. Wells was hired as Sidney Herald editor in 1967, which made him the youngest editor in Montana at the time. He then moved to Livingston to be editor of the Livingston Enterprise. From Livingston he became the editor of the Big Timber Pioneer and opened a photography studio, concentrating on wedding pictures.
Wells returned to Sidney in 1972 as publisher of the Sidney Herald. and was promoted to publisher of the Williston Herald publisher.
In 1976 Wells continued to work for Wick Communications taking a 3-day publication to a daily. While in Arizona he managed five newspaper publications for Wicks in Arizona, plus the Sidney and Williston papers.
Wells returned to Williston to manage Scofield Broadcasting until 1983 when he moved back to Sidney as the publisher of the newly-formed Richland Free Press. After a year, with the help of three investors, he began operations of the Richland County Leader in the basement of his home and slowly moved to larger locations as he developed it into a viable newspaper.
The Richland County Leader was purchased by Wick Communications in 1988 and was combined with the Sidney Herald, to make the Sidney Herald-Leader. In 1994, Wells purchased The Roundup, which was located in Watford City. He moved The Roundup office to Sidney. In 2008 he sold The Roundup to his son, Jody, and in 2010 The Roundup office moved to its present location in the Yellowstone Marketplace building.
Wells moved to Florida after his retirement, but he returned to Sidney in 2017 .
Wells first and foremost loved the news business. He enjoyed the photography aspect and found his niche in the investigative part of newspaper work. He would see a problem in each city, dig into it, and look for ways to solve the problem through the voice of his newspaper.
Wells was very community oriented. He possessed a great talent for advertising and raising awareness of an event that promoted the town and surrounding area. His brainstorms were instrumental in starting the Peter Paddlefish Day, Sidney wresting program, Western Days, Sugar Days, 4th of July celebration, Sidney’s Got It and Beef Showcase. He was a driving force behind the MonDak Heritage Center, Courage Enough (2 volumes), MonDak Walleyes Unlimited and the Walleyes Unlimited Annual Kids Fishing Derby held at Gartside Reservoir, which included all the 6th graders in the county getting hints from the membership. Each student was presented with their very own fishing rod and reel.
Wells also was very agriculture oriented. His ideas and vision created the monthly Ag Roundup to promote and highlight agriculture in the area. He developed the Ag Days Trade Show, started the ag appreciation golf tournament, where, of course, the Roundup had the favorite hole, the Margarita Hole.
Wells always tried to focus on good news in his publications. He wanted correct, factual information, and wanted to promote events in a positive light so people would attend. The Roundup succeeded in this endeavor as the paper covers all of Richland County, McKenzie County, and the surrounding area.
Wells also dearly loved fishing. He created the fishing page in The Roundup, awarding a new rod and reel to anyone submitting their photo to the page
Wells will be missed. His many contributions to the MonDak region have benefitted both the public and the private sectors, and the community will continue to enjoy events that Wells initiated and promoted.
Russ is survived by; his wife, Linda, his children; Jody Wells, Sheri Ressler and Kristi Kuylen, his grandchildren; Byron Kuylen, Lance Kuylen, Laura (Anthony) Ashby, Jeff (Alyssa) Kuylen, Alisha(Dom)Breding, Kristena Kuylen, Jessica (Josh) Morrissey, and Bethany Wells, eight great grandchildren, and three great-great grandchildren. His brothers; Jerry and John Wells, and sisters; Janet Lahti, Linda Stordahl, and Donna Molnar.
Russ is preceded in death by his parents Joseph and Marilyn Wells and his sister Robin.

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Mark Kuylen (Sidney, MT)
Oct 1, 2019
Dear Wells Family,
What a great time our family always had with summer BBQ's, birthdays and many other holidays. Russ always taking family pictures. What a great man to us. Alway being so great with our mom and dad. Proud of his grand kids and great grand kids.
We will alway remember you being a part of our life.
RIP. Russ God Bless, Mark

Tami Maltese
Oct 2, 2019
My thoughts and prayers are with the Wells family. Russ did so much for the community both in the newspaper business and his promotions. If Russ believed in something; you know he would get it done. Russ will be missed.
Carol Anderson (Marysville, California)
Oct 2, 2019
It was fun working with you many years ago.
Virginia Hanson Oraw (Waukee , Iowa)
Oct 2, 2019
Oh how my heart hurts this morning reading about Russ’ death. Our history goes way back to college days in Dickinson. So many memories, the blind date that put Cal and I together put together by Russ and my college roommate Linda and so many more.
Praying for the Wells family and all who knew this incredible man!
Janet Neubauer (Carson City, Nevada)
Oct 2, 2019
I worked for Russ at the Leader in the mid 80s. He was a great boss and created a fun atmosphere. We built a float in his garage one year for the 4th of July with his vision of enlarging the newspaper. Well, it took a long time and many, many discarded enlargements on the copy machine to piece that thing together! It was one of my favorite jobs but didn’t pay much!!
My sincere condolences to his family who I’m sure are feeling a great void with his passing.
Cal Oraw (Des Moines, Iowa)
Oct 2, 2019
Rest in peace my friend.
My sympathies to you Linda and family.
I am glad I got meet you and Linda through
you two I met Virginia in March of 1970 who was Linda's roommate at Dickinson State
Toots Johnson McCollough (Billings, MT)
Oct 2, 2019
Wells Family,
I was so sorry to see Russ had passed. Lots of memories from when the girls were small. Sidney has lost a treasure. Hugs and prayers to all.
Lisa baardson
Oct 10, 2019
Your all in my thoughts n prayers
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