The Honourable Robert Wells, QC.

August 28, 1933 to October 28, 2020



To view the online service for the late Honourable Robert Wells on Monday,  November 16th, 2020 at 11:00 a.m.from the Anglican Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, please visit: or


Passed away peacefully in his 87th year on October 28, 2020 at the Health Science Centre, St. John’s.  Leaving to mourn his beloved wife and best friend Lucy of 37 years; stepdaughter Robyn Devine (Blair); stepson Greg Devine (Fiona); three daughters, Sally, Alison (Richard) and Jain; two sons, Rob (Jennifer) David (Ann); brother William Wells; and 12 grandchildren, Michael, Maria, Jane, Abby, Jack, Kate, Kyle, Sarek, Luke, Alex, Jacob and Lachlan. He was predeceased by his parents Rev. Warwick Wells and Dorcas Wells.

He was named Rhode Scholar from Newfoundland in 1953, admitted to the Bar of England and Wales (1958) and the Bar of Newfoundland (1959) followed by a distinguished career as a practicing lawyer for 28 years and a Supreme Court Justice of NL (Trial Division) for 22 years. In addition, he served as a member of the House of Assembly, Minister of Health and Government House Leader, President of the Law Society of NL, National President of the Canadian Bar Association, Chairman of the Board of Janeway Child Health Centre and Commissioner for the Offshore Helicopter Safety Inquiry. He was awarded Honorary Doctorates of Laws by Memorial University and by the Benchers of the Law Society and was an Honorary Inspector of the RNC.

He was an inspiration to all who met him and loved by all who knew him. Mostly, we will remember him for his love for his family, his warmth of character and kindness to everyone, his many stories of adventure and humour, his deep intellect and care for society at large. Those cherished memories and his strength of spirit will remain with us forever.

Cremation has taken place. Visitation will take place at Carnell’s Funeral Home, 329 Freshwater Rd. from 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. on Saturday, November 14, 2020 and if you wish to attend please contact the family via the following email, In keeping with COVID restrictions, the funeral service will be by invitation on Monday November 16th, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. from the Anglican Cathedral of St. John the Baptist.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Salvation Army Ches Penney Centre of Hope. To send a message of condolence, please visit





11:00am, Monday November 16th

Anglican Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
Church Street, St. John's


Leave a Condolence

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Huge hugs to you all. I dearly loved our visits and conversations with Lucy and Bob over the years. His warmth and humor will never be forgotten and he will be deeply missed. Denise and Tony. xx

Sincere condolences to the family. I knew Bob very well during student days at Memorial and valued h his friendship.

Dave: Sorry to hear of your fathers passing. Our condolences to you and your family
Your in out thoughts and prayers

Dear Lucy, Robyn, Greg and the rest of Bob’s family. My sincerest condolences to you all. Bob was a remarkable man. I had so much admiration for him and am a better person for knowing him. Many fond memories.
Best wishes,

Dear Dave, Rob, and family,
My sincere condolences on the passing of your Dad. I can think of phrases like pillar of justice, cornerstone of society and others which accurately characterize your Dad, professionally speaking. Yet the losses to you are personal and private matters for which I am wishing you personal peace and solace.
Best wishes, Steve

Sally, David & family,
I was saddened to read about the passing of your father. He lived a remarkable life and his contributions in public life and the law added greatly to the betterment of Newfoundland & Labrador. I recall your father being a caring man who had time to speak with everyone.

May He Rest in Peace

Gary Walsh.

Our thoughts are with Mar, Jane and all their family on the passing of their grandfather. We had the wonderful pleasure of meeting him at Mt Allison University during Mar’s graduation.. May you all hold on to his memory with love and warmth.

Lucy , Sally and family,
It is indeed with a heavy heart that I write this. I am so sorry for your loss . Mr Wells was one genuine human being who loved life and lived an enormous one.
Sally and I have been best friends for over forty years and because of that I had many opportunities to share a meal , have a coffee or a small glass of wine and have lovely conversations with him. They will always be treasured. . That little glint in his eye as he shared a funny story or engaged in a discussion will never be forgotten.
My thoughts and prayers with you all

Sue Martin

I have been late in responding to Bob’s passing as I wanted to reflect on my long experience with him. I was fortunate to have practiced law with him for almost 10 years back in the 70 s and early 80 s. and had several trials, settlement conferences etc. with him when he was on the bench. Everything said about him in his professional capacities is true. He was hard-working, respectful, kind and fair. That said, as with the rest of us, not everything went his way. As one much junior to him, I looked to him for words of wisdom. I remember him saying “you have to take the rough with the smooth”. And so he did, with equanimity. When I think of him now I’m reminded of Kipling’s poem – “If” …… ” Or walk with kings -nor lose the common touch……”.etc. So many of the ideals in Kipling’s poem remind one of Bob.

So sorry to hear of his passing. I worked at the Supreme Court from 1978 to 2013. He was always a gentleman and a scholar. I was blessed to have worked with him. He treated everyone with care and compassion. Keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers. Rest in Peace Justice Wells.

Daphne Lewis (nee Costello)


So sorry to hear that your father has passed away. He was such a fine gentleman. It was always a good day when I had occasion to be in his Courtroom..

Please extend my condolences to other family members.


Dear Sally and our 4 cousin’s
Geoff and I were very sorry to learn of our Uncle passing.
He always came across as a very kind and gentle man.
As a child I had 2 wonderful holidays in Newfoundland with the family.
A genuine, lovely person.
Thinking of you all.
Janet and Geoff

Dave and family,
Sorry to hear about your Dad’s passing. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.

I am Deeply sorry to learn of Justice Wells passing. I knew him to be a very kind and generous man. He always had a smile for all who knew him,. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this very difficult time.. God Bless.

A person I admired and respected with great mention. In a time when the practice of law was colorful and full of drama. No computers, long hours into the night in the stacks at the law library and rushing from one court room to another, . I miss those days and I shall miss Judge Wells even more. He was a mentor, a gentleman and thoughtful person. Class all the way.

To Lucy and Family,
Rosemary and I were so very saddened to hear of Bob’s passing. He was truly a scholar and a gentleman in every sense of the phrase.
As a colleague he was always generous and supportive when a guiding thought was sought. He was a great Judge, exuding eloquence and dignity with justice.
Please accept our most sincere condolences.
Bob and Rosemary Fowler

Dear Lucy and Family ,
We were very saddened to hear of Bob’s passing. He was a valued and respected colleague on the bench and his warm personality and wit was appreciated not only within the court but also at judicial social events. He will be greatly missed. . Derek and Susan Green

To Bill & the Wells family,
Deeply sorry to learn of Bob’s passing. He was a distinguished legal professional, an important figure in the life of Newfoundland and Labrador, but most importantly he was a warm and honourable person. We’ll always have him in our memories.

Dave, Rob, Jain and Family,
Sincere condolences on the loss of your father. Our thoughts are with you all at this difficult time.

Dear Lucy,

I was saddened by the news of Bob’s passing. He was a fine Judge whose sense of humour and kind demeanour made appearing before him a pleasure. I recall an occasion in Court when I requested leave to file a written Brief. He granted leave but in doing so said, “I think we ought to call it a Long and not a Brief.” He served the Law Society with distinction and he was almost always present at Society social functions. He was approachable and never too busy to help out in a pinch. On numerous occasions he filled in on the Rhodes Scholarship Selection Committee. He will be missed.

Gus Lilly

To all the Wells family: After growing-up together on St. Andrews Place, its truly hard to know what to say upon learning of your father’s passing. There are many memories – I especially remember your Dad driving the old green Range Rover when I was little (Raylene here) and your Dad’s kind smile to all the kids on the street. Considering we played right next to your house, I can only imagine the patience needed! Then our fathers worked together for many years at the Courthouse. It was hard work and I believe every day going to work took much courage on both of their behalves to face the complex and heavy issues.
You are all in our thoughts and we wish we could be together to mourn your loss.

My Deepest Condolence To The Hon. Justice Robert Wells, I Knew Justice Wells For Many Years He Was A Great Person And A Great Lawyer, I Also Attended A Death Penalty Case In Happy Valley Labrador Back In 1968 And Mr Wells Was
The Defence Council And I Think That Was The Last Trial That I Remember In Newfoundland & Labrador Where A Defendeant Was Sentenced To Be Hanged For Murder Now I Could Be Wrong But I Think So, In Any Event Mr Wells Mounted A Good Defence And I Was The One That Drove Mr Wells To The Airport The Following Morning So As He Could Catch His Flight Back To St Johns, I Knew Him A Life Time And Judge Wells Was A Very Fair Justice While Sitting On The Bench Also A Good Person All Around And He Will Be Missed By A Lot Of People All Around;
RIP Justice Robert Wells
Gerry Dunphy-Etobicoke On.

Lucy, Sally, and all the Wells family;

I have such fond memories of Bob as a calm presence both at home (where I spent so many overnights with Sally as a teenager) and as a colleague on the trial division bench.

Bob’s gentle approach to dispute resolution at all levels epitomized fairness.

How blessed you all were to have benefitted from his wisdom, guidance and support for so long.

Gillian Butler, Dave McKay and family

To Lucy, Robyn, Greg, And the Wells Family.
We were deeply saddened to hear of Bob’s passing. He has been part of the Pilgrim family for a very long time and he embraced us into his family as well. He was a kind and gentle man whose gentle voice and welcoming smile always made you feel at ease in his presence. His kindness and love that he showed to mom and Dad will never be forgotten. We mourn his passing with you and you can be assured of our love and prayers today and in the days ahead.

Lucy …… sorry to hear of Robert’s passing…….condolences to you all at this difficult time .

Sally & all the Wells family,
I was sad to learn of your father’s recent passing. I have fond memories of your family as next door neighbours on St. Andrew’s Place. Your parents welcomed me into your home and were kind to me when I lost my Mom at a young age. Please accept our condolences. Janet & Jim

So sorry to hear of your father passing. A kind and gentle man as I recall him. My thoughts and prayers are with your family. God bless.

I only met Judge Wells once, when I had the honor of his presence at one of my oil and gas seminars. During these events I always invite anyone present who has any special expertise on the material being discussed to weigh in, for the benefit of the rest of us. As it went, his honor generously took me up on my offer and shared some exceptional nuggets of wisdom and perspective throughout the day. I also had the chance to chat one-on-one with him during lunch, and was struck by the calm integrity of the man: which also gave me a sense why he was so widely respected and had been entrusted with so much responsibility over the years. With his family and friends, the Province has lost an exceptional leader and gentleman. My deepest condolences.

Our heartfelt regret in hearing of Bob’s passing. As his campaign manager in all his political endeavours we enjoyed a close relationship and shared many varied experiences during that time. His patience and good humour in all kinds of situations during campaigning was an example to all of us.
Lucy and family, our sincere condolences at this very difficult time

Dear Lucy and family,
It was with heavy hearts that we received the news of Bob’s passing. His wisdom, grace, and charm touched us so very much, and we are glad to have called him friend. Paul will miss his visits to the garage to talk cars and to share conversations on issues past and present. His is a gentle and caring soul, and his presence will be sorely missed.
Lucy, if you need anything at all, please know that we are here for you.

Sally, Rob, David, Louise and Nancy (as I knew you). Please accept my deep condolences for your father’s passing. I spoke with Sally on Friday and she told me what happened. I know this must be a difficult time for you all but know that you are all in my thoughts. I remember your father with great fondness – a generous, kind, softspoken man and a true gentlemen. A man who lived his life with integrity and purpose who contributed to the world in all he was involved in. He was also a great father to you all and I know he was proud of each of you. I remember well the times I spent at your house as you were growing up and I hope you are all doing well. Sally and I have stayed in touch over the years and I always ask how you are all doing. Take solace in your good memories and remember him with pride and love.

Dave and family – sincere condolences on the loss of your father. Cherish your wonderful memories as they always remain and will continue to guide you.

Anyone who works offshore owes Mr. Wells a great amount of gratitude for his unselfish contribution to our safety and well-being.

Sorry for your loss

Dave and family – so sorry to hear of your father’s passing. He was a wonderful, honorable man….a real gentleman and a great Newfoundlander. I know his passing is a great loss to your family.
Sincere condolences to you all.

To the Wells family : Your father was a true gentleman I will always remember our conversations and his thoughtfulness.

To the Wells Family : our deepest condolences to the entire family on your recent loss. Bob had a very distinguished career both as a lawyer and a Judge and contributed greatly to his community and will be sadly missed. I had the pleasure of working with him for one summer while completing my articles, just prior to his being appointed to the bench and had the chance to appear before him often, he was always a gentleman. As one of the founding members of our predecessor firm ( Wells, O’Dea, Halley ) we still see the benefits of some of the institutional clients he brought to the firm so you may take some comfort that his legacy lives on. You are all in our thoughts and prayers..

David, condolences to you and all of your family at this time. You are in my thoughts.

Dear Lucy, Sally, Rob, and Dave. My deepest condolences on the passing of your husband and Dad. Few people in life have the ability to give the gift of kindness, honesty and integrity with words. Bob was one such a rare person. We last spoke after my Dad died. He reminisced about the many shared meals, and wonderful grand times had by himself, Lucy, Virginia and Cyril.. He spoke of how proud he was of all of you and his joy spending time with his grandchildren.
There are no words that can possibly fill the void left by his passing. The Irish say when you lose your Dad it’s like loosing your umbrella against bad weather. May his sun be your light, may you feel his sun shine brightly on you all over the coming days. Take care.

So sorry to hear of Bob’s passing.. Amongst his many accomplishments, he was also a very good Pilot. I had the honor and pleasure of being one of flight instructors when he successfully completed the pilot training course back in the 70’s.
His calm demeanor, great sense of humour and dedication was a credit to his success..
Condolences to his wife and Family

Sorry I will miss the visitation as I will be out of town.

Robert was a truly kind and genuine person and highly respected by myself and all members at the RNC. His significant service to the RNC and the community will always be remembered.

He was a man of grace and dignity, always a kind word of encouragement, loved and respected by ever so many.

My heartfelt prayers to Lucy and family.

So heartbreaking to hear this news. I was blessed to have trained Bob for many years. He enjoyed the speed bag and pad drills the most and he looked forward to each challenging workout. We shared stories, laughs, lessons and wisdom. We became good friends. I am forever grateful to have met such an amazing person. Sending my condolences to his beautiful wife Lucy and family. He will be greatly missed. Sending love and prayers from Rodney Noah and I . Xo

NL has lost a true gentleman. Deepest sympathy to Mrs. Wells and family at this time of your loss. He was a true friend to me.

Dear David and Family,

Diana and I were very sad to hear of the passing of your father. He was lucky to have lived such a good long life …but it is still always difficult to say goodbye.

Judge Wells was fortunate to have lived such a full life and to have accomplished so much, both personally and professionally. Though I only knew him for a few years, I felt fortunate to have worked with him and to have seen his sincere dedication to the people of Newfoundland during the Offshore Helicopter Safety Inquiry.

Please accept our sincere, heartfelt condolences for you and your family. We look forward to seeing you again in the near future.

Dan & Diana Chicoyne

Dear Lucy, we heard the sad news of Robert’s passing from Elaine this morning. Please know that our thoughts are with you and your family.
Lucie and Tony
Ggg greenhouses

Dear Lucy, we heard the sad news from Elaine this morning. Please know that our thoughts are we you and your family.

Im so sorry to hear of Bob’s passing! Sending my love to Lucy and her family! Xoxox

David, our thoughts are with you and your family at this time. It’s wonderful to see the many well derserved tributes and acknowledgements of your father’s accomplishments . Take care. Stay safe.

Lucy and family:

Lorraine and I were truly saddened to learn of Bob’s passing. We knew from our conversation this summer that he was confronting health challenges, but this news still surprised us.

Many have spoken highly of Bob and his life’s work. All I can say is that some of my happiest and most rewarding work days in life were with him on the Helicopter Inquiry. Our travels together at that time are also a highlight that give Lorraine and I many wonderful .memories of our times together.

Our sincere condolences on his passing. A life very well lived, contributing always to his community, Is a fitting tribute for this fine gentleman and wonderful friend.

Rest peacefully, Bob.

Lorraine and John

Dear Dave and family,

My deepest condolences to you and your family with the loss of your cherished father. Having lost my own many years ago, I know the deep sadness you feel. You have been blessed to have such a wonderful man in your life and may your beautiful memories carry you in the days ahead.

Lucy I was so sad to read this today. Haven’t seen you in many years but have wonderful memories of you and your wonderful family as we grew up in St. lunaire & Griquet. Sending my condolences as you mourn the loss of your wonderful husband I know you made wonderful memories to help you through this sad loss. Sending lots of love.

Dear Rob, Jennifer, Abby, Jack and Kate. We’re so sorry to hear about the passing of your father, father-in-law and grandpa. He sounds like a special and accomplished person, in every way that counts. We’re sure he was immensely proud of you Rob, your choice of life mate, and your beautiful children. We’ll be thinking of you all in these cruel times, when everything is made so much harder. xoxo

To the Wells Family

I had an opportunity to work with Justice Wells briefly a few years ago and cherished my encounters with him. He was a brilliant gentleman of tremendous intellectual capacity and sincere modesty. His outstanding legacy will provide an ongoing source of comfort to you. Sincere condolences!

Dear Lucy, Greg (Fiona and children) and Robyn (Blair),
I am so, so sorry to hear about the passing of Mr. Wells. He was always such a lovely, kind, well-spoken gentleman. In fact, I think many people would agree, he put the “gentle” in gentleman. Please accept my family’s deepest condolences during this difficult time.

My Sincere Sympathy to Justice Wells’ family and friends.
Such a kind and caring gentleman..
Gloria Stewart

Lucy and family of Bob
Sorry to see that Bob has made his exit from the stage of life.
He had a remarkable and very successful career in all his undertakings.
More than that – he was a friendly – thoughtful and endearing person.
Bob had a great sense of humour and was held in very high regard by his contemporaries.
I was glad to have been his friend.
A good man passes indeed.
Sincere condolences to all who mourn him .

Lucy and family, so sorry for your loss.
I will always remember his wonderful smile and his kindness. He was always a great person to talk with.
Terri and Paul Boundridge

Sending warm hugs and condolences to Sally and family. Thinking of you at this difficult tim
Terry and Philip

Very sad to hear of the passing of Mr. Justice Wells. He will be missed
Tim Chalker

So very sorry to hear of your Dad’s passing. I remember the many good times when we lived next door on Horwood Street. He was a lifelong friend who I know will be deeply missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with all the family. Bob & Sharon Burt

Sentite condoglianze che riposi in pace

To the Wells family.
Like so many others, I was saddened to hear of Bob’s passing. I knew Bob mainly from the running community in the 1970s and 80s. We were always warmed by his grace, smile and engaging presence. And in the times since then, it was always a delight to bump into him. His contributions to the province are many. Mon condolences to his family and friends. Carolyn Emerson

With sadness, Maureen and I send our condolences to Lucy and the extended family of Mr. Justice Robert Wells. Newfoundland and Canada are much the richer for what he accomplished in his life. His work will save the lives of many more individuals in the future as he leaves a remarkable legacy.

Please accept my sincere condolences on the loss of a wonderful man. In all our interactions, Mr. Justice Wells was respectful and kind. He earned everyone’s respect in turn. He will be sorely missed by all of us but remembered very fondly.

Very sorry to hear of Bob,s passing .We werefriends of Bob and Molly many years ago and have cherished memories.
Brenda Coopet

Ingrid and I are so sad to hear of Bob’s death. We will remember his soft voice and gentle manner as we are sure will many others. An admired Barrister and role model for the practicing Bar, Bob will be missed.

To Bob’s family and especially Lucy our sincere condolences.

I was so sorry to hear of Justice Wells’ passing. From my first contact with him growing up on St. Andrew’s Place to my interactions with him on the Bench, I always found him to be a kind, caring, balanced and reasonable person. He was a true gentleman and a great jurist. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time.

I am so very sad to hear of the passing of Justice Wells. I knew Justice Wells throughout my career and really got to know him better when he became Honorary Inspector of the RNC. I sat next to him at several dinners and we talked for hours. He would come out and march with the RNC Honour Guard on July 1 and Remembrance Day faithfully. He was such a true gentleman. He did a lot for the RNC and the Justice System. He will Be dearly missed. May he Rest In Peace. Condolences to the family.

I was so sad to hear of Justice Wells passing. He was such a kind and fair person, and so well respected. I had the opportunity to conduct arbitrations under him after his retirement from the Bench and his continued love of the law and zest for life was still so evident whenever you met him. A great loss to the legal community for sure.

my heartfelt regrets on bob’s passing.. he was a real gentle man and we as a gentleman. he was highly respected as a practitioner and as a judge and he was perhaps the best criminal lawyer in his time to ever practice here. he was extremely kind and so highly respected. lucy, please accept our sincere condolences on behalf on barbara and i ,on his passing.

Condolences to the Wells family. It was always a pleasure to appear in front of Justice Wells, and as others have noted, the epitomy of a gentleman.

To Sally and the Wells family

Sorry to hear of your Dad’s passing. I appeared before him many times and it was always such a pleasure to do so. He was always such a quiet spoken, kind man with a wonderful sense of humor. May your memories make this difficult time more bearable.

To the Wells family – I am so sorry for your loss. Justice Wells was a true gentleman. I, like many other lawyers in this community who appeared before him, always found him to be extremely gracious, genuine and caring. He was truly a great jurist and a wonderful person.

A real gentleman. Always gracious and kind. A pleasure to deal with. Condolences to his family.