(ST. JOSEPH, Mo) Winfred Wells, better known as Winnie, is known by many in St. Joseph, especially the north side.
“When you go across peoples cell phones, this guy, it just says Winnie, there is no need for a second name because you know who you’re calling. This is not a north end thing, It's a St. Joe thing,” said Russell Book, a lifelong friend of Winnie.
“He can go anywhere, everybody knew and loved Winnie Wells, and he’s a big part of St. Joseph I think,” said Melissa Winn, who has known Winnie for more than 30 years.
Sadly, Winnie Wells died on Wednesday after a freak accident at the Moila Country Club. Reports say he drowned after falling into a trench that filled with water.
"I just can't even imagine here out without our Winnie,” said lifelong friend Kelly Lampton.
On Friday, some of those people who were close to Winnie met at the Brown Bear Tavern to share stories they had about their friend.
Russell Book is one of those who knew Winnie his whole life, and says the personality of Winnie, brightened so many rooms.
"Winnie has this magnetic personality. Wherever Winnie goes, it could be the Brown Bear, the Mall, a house function, people gravitate towards Winnie. You kind of have to see it to understand it, but people want to see, want to hear what Winnie has to say, they just love being around Winnie,” said Book.
Friends say that Winnie was one of those people that would help anybody and everybody who needed it.
Even covering up graffiti on store fronts to fixing a friend's neighbor's appliances.
"Somebody had painted some profanity on this furniture store down the road and Winnie was not having it. By golly he got his ladder and got some paint and got up there and painted over the words,” said Winn.
Friends say that Winnie was just that type of guy, going out of his way, even when he didn't have to.
And that he became a big brother and role model to many in St. Joseph.
"But then when we moved to the north end, we was just a grade ahead of me. And it was like, I have two younger brothers, but I also have my older brother Winnie,” said Lampton.