INGRID KAINU WELLSIngrid Kainu Wells, passed away Jan.
Ingrid Kainu Wells, passed away Jan. 6, 2012.
Ingrid was born in Crosby Minn., on Aug. 26, 1912 to Emil and Alma Kainu. She graduated from Crosby Ironton High School and the St. Cloud Teachers College after which she taught elementary school in Upsula, Minn.
At the end of World War II, Ingrid and Ward moved to Duluth where she lived for the next 50 years. She taught second grade at Washburn Elementary as well as becoming active in community groups and the Democratic Farmer Labor party.
After years of service in a variety of civic leadership roles such as UMD Faculty Wives, PTA etc., Ingrid Wells entered into community and statewide leadership roles rarely achieved by women of her era.
In the fall of 1956 Wells challenged gender expectations by running as a candidate for the 57th State Legislative District.
Wells served as the Chairwoman of the Duluth Coordinating Committee and as Chair of the DFL's 8Th District in the 1960's, providing support in the campaigns of John Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey.
President John F. Kennedy appointed Ingrid as acting Postmaster of Duluth in 1963. She served in that capacity until 1965.
In 1965, Governor Rolvaag appointed Wells to the Minnesota Council on the Status of Women.
Wells also served as Treasurer of the Townview Improvement Corporation from 1969-1982. President Gerald Ford recognized the Townview group with the National Volunteer Award in 1975 for their work in building and renovating housing for 250 families in inner city Duluth.
Wells also served as the Co-Chair with Governor Elmer L. Anderson on the Committee to establish Voyager's National Park.
Mayor Ben Boo appointed Mrs. Wells to serve on the City Planning Commission for Duluth. She also served as a part of the Duluth Economic Planning Committee.
Wells served on the board of the Seaway Port Authority of Duluth from 1978 until 1984. During her term she served a term as President of the Port, becoming the first woman in the nation to head of any of the ports in the Great Lakes Port Commission.
In 1984, Ingrid was the Port Cities Woman of the Year. In 1995, Ingrid moved to Rochester, Minn., where she spent the remaining years of her life.
She was preceded in death by her husband, of 49 years, Ward M. Wells.
Ingrid is survived by her sons Tom Wells (Seattle), Jeff Wells and his wife Sandy (Rochester) and daughter, Diane Holt (Panama City, Florida) and grandchildren Jimmy Holt, Terri Hopkins, Kassie Martin-Wells, Kasey, Kyle, Trent, Taylor, Porter and Morgan Wells as well as seven great grandchildren. Ingrid's siblings, Myrtle and Webster Kainu, also preceded her in death.
MEMORIAL SERVICES: will be held at a later date.
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