Dr. Damon Wells, Jr., COB

Damon Wells, Jr., Investor, Author and Philanthropist died on Saturday, the 16th of October 2021, in Houston, Texas.

Damon was born in Houston the 20th of May 1937, the son of Damon Wells and Margaret Corinne Howze Wells. His grandfathers were Dr. James M. Wells and Henry Y. Howze.

His family immigrated to Massachusetts from England in 1632. Damon was a direct descendant of the legendary frontiersman Daniel Boone, and of Samuel Damon, his Great Great Grandfather who came to Texas from Massachusetts in 1831 and fought in the Texas Revolution at the Battle of Bexar and was later at San Jacinto.

Damon attended Kinkaid School for 12 years and graduated in 1954, delivering the valedictory address at commencement.

He entered Yale and graduated in 1958. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

Only a few weeks after leaving Yale, Damon’s Father, a successful banker and property developer, died suddenly. It fell to Damon, as the only child, to take over the family business at only 21 years of age. He managed the family assets successfully over a 3-year period, after which Damon resumed his academic studies at Oxford University, where he was awarded the Degree of Master of Arts in 1964.

Damon then returned to Houston and earned the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in 1968 at Rice University. Damon’s Doctoral dissertation on the Life of Stephen A. Douglas was published in book form and won the 1971 Award for Biography at the Annual Texas Writers Roundup.

In 1968 Damon founded Damon Wells Interests, specializing in mining with emphasis on the U.S., Australia and South Africa. His flair for markets brought him the success which enabled Damon to turn to philanthropy. He created The Damon Wells Foundation in 1993 which over many years has helped medicine, education and Texas history causes.

Damon served fourteen years as a Trustee and also a member of the Finance Committee of the Kinkaid School. He was also a Trustee of the Christ Church Cathedral Endowment Fund, of which he became Chairman.

Damon was a Trustee of The Winston S. Churchill Foundation in the United States. He was an Associate Fellow of Jonathan Edwards College as well as a Sterling Fellow at Yale. He was also an Honourary Fellow of Pembroke College, Oxford University as well as being named a member of the Chancellor’s Court of Benefactors, which dates back to the 13th century.

In 1992 Queen Elizabeth made Damon an Honorary Commander of the Order of the British Empire, a distinction held by very few Americans.

Damon was a member of The Houston Club, Houston Country Club, Coronado Club, Cosmos Club in Washington D.C., Yale Club of New York, Oxford and Cambridge Club, London and Buck’s Club, London. Damon was a great admirer of Sir Winston Churchill. He was deeply honored when Sir Winston’s family made him a Trustee of The Churchill Graves Trust, the only American so honored.

Damon is especially proud of his ten godchildren, in both America and England.

The family would like to give special recognition and thanks to his caregivers: Grady Duncan, Bernita Rivers, Alnita Reed, Alexis Carrington; Cargiver and Nursing agencies: The Master Caregivers Company, Allied Health Services and Infinity Personalized Private Care Services; Dr. Amy Mynderse and Maddie Bunch, RN, CDMS, and Dr. Margaret Manus and to the staff at The St. James Condominiums. A very special thanks to his loyal associates Carol Billups, Vinnie Siegel, Janet Jones, Anne Alexander, Ola B. Deerman and Betty Benefiel.

Those honored to serve as pallbearers are Gary Hornberger, Steve Hood, Jimmie Wright, and Judge John Damon.

Those serving as honorary pallbearers are Peter Maffitt, General Thomas Cushing, David M. Underwood, Stephen D. Susman, Russell Gee, Dr. Michael Tetelman, Martin Wenick, Randolph Spencer Churchill, John Spencer Churchill, Robert McMurrey, The Master and Fellows of Jonathan Edwards College, Yale, and The Master and Fellows of Pembroke College, Oxford.

The funeral service was conducted at two o’clock in the afternoon on Thursday, the 28th of October, at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, 717 Sage Road in Houston, where The Rev. Dr. Russell J. Levenson, Jr. officiated.

The entombment service is to follow, via an escorted cortege, at Forest Park Lawndale Cemetery in Houston.

A Memorial Service will also be held at Oxford in the 18th Century Pembroke College Chapel which Damon restored and which bears his name.