Norma ‘Polly’ Sammis Wells

Norma “Polly” Sammis Wells passed away peacefully in her sleep at The Shores at Peconic Landing, Greenport, N.Y., on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023. She was an amazing 101 years old. On the walls of her room were photos of her homes, beloved family and a banner that read “Cheers to 100 years,” something she pointed out to all visitors!

“Polly” was born Sept. 19, 1921, in Greenport. She was the only daughter of Ralph and Ethel Sammis of Greenport and, later, Northport, N.Y. Both parents, her brothers, Eddie, Newton, John (Jack) and Harold predeceased her, as did one of her sons, Richard. Polly grew up in Greenport and attended Cortland State College to pursue a degree in elementary education. She utilized this degree by teaching elementary school before and after she was married.

Polly married her college sweetheart, Herbert Wells Jr., before he left for duty in the Army during World War II. Polly raised twin infant boys on her own until Herb returned home to Southold. Polly was the homemaker while Herb was employed by the Vail Brothers as he recuperated from a wartime illness. Besides the twins, Roger and Richard, they later had a third son, Herbert Wells III. Herb continued to work for Vail until he bought the business in Peconic and Polly returned to teaching at Aquebogue Elementary School for many years. In addition to raising a family and entertaining in support of the business, Polly also provided loving care for both her elderly parents and her in-laws for years.

After retiring, Polly traveled around the world on trips with Elder Hostel and taught adult literacy classes in the local library. They sold their home on Pine Neck Road and “downsized” to Founders Village, where they enjoyed quieter years together. When Herb passed in 2007, Polly continued to live independently in Founders Village, enjoying her bridge, reading, crossword puzzles, friends and visits from family. Only after a fall in 2021 did she moved to Peconic Landing, where she received excellent care until her passing.

Polly is survived by two of her sons and their wives: Roger and Theresa Wells of DeWitt, Mich., and Bert and Chris Wells of Reno, Nev.; and Richard’s widow, Carol Wells, of Maine and Arizona. She has six grandchildren: Christine John, Dan Wells, Brian Wells, Andrew Wells, Erick Wells and Steven Wells; as well as 17 great-grandchildren. Family members and special friends will be attending a memorial celebration of her life later this spring, followed by a burial service at Southold Presbyterian Church Cemetery.

Polly was a “classy lady,” beloved by her family, refined yet self-sufficient, intelligent and highly respected. She was an awesome mother and wife with enviable principles. Her ideals, insightfulness, sense of humor, genuine kindness and spirit will live on within us, but her company will be truly missed.

Coster-Heppner Funeral Home in Greenport is assisting the family.

This is a paid notice.