An eastern Oregon native, Bill Wells attended school in Enterprise, Oregon, and was a graduate of the class of 1973. He was a member of the state basketball and state track championship teams. The year following graduation found Bill in Portland attending school and working as a ball boy for the Portland Trail Blazers.
In 1975, Bill married Christy Kiser of Joseph. Sons Benson and Marcus have always been Bill’s pride and joy. A job as a regional sales manager in the window industry allowed Bill a flexible schedule and time to attend the boys many activities and events.
Bill’s tenure with the Chief Joseph Days rodeo began in 1991 when he volunteered to help organize the parking for the rodeos. This job continued for many years.
For two years during 1994 and 1995, he took the reins as the rodeo committee president, and in 1996-2000 he worked as a co-rodeo chairman. He also served many years as a rodeo director.
Some of the highlights he is proud of include helping CJD to two “Top Five” placings for Small Outdoor Rodeo Of The Year, starting the event sponsorship program which was previously limited to chute sponsors, and receiving the John Justin Standard of the West Award.
The boys are now grown. Benson is living in a great group home in Milton-Freewater, Oregon.
Marcus is a Major in the US Air Force and he and wife Amber are raising three happy little boys; Mason, Waylon, and Braxton.
After many years of teaching at Joseph High School, Christy is now retired and busy spoiling the grandkids.
One year ago, Bill undertook his most challenging job yet. ln the fall of 2016, he was diagnosed with a lung disease which caused his lungs to deteriorate. He was placed on the transplant list in January,2018, and in April he received new set of lungs. As Bill continues his recovery and works to regain his strength, he wants to urge everyone to cowboy up and check that box on their driver’s license to become an organ donor.
lt really does save lives.