Wells, James Ralston, Jr.

Held Long Career With American National Bank And Trust Company

Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Ralston Wells
Ralston Wells

James Ralston Wells, Jr., 88, son of the late Dr. James Ralston Wells and Mildred White Wells, died peacefully at home on Tuesday, August 6, 2013. 

Ralston was born in Merion, PA., on Sept. 20, 1924, and grew up in Daytona Beach, FL, where he was proud to have been a lifeguard.  He attended The McCallie School and graduated from the University of Virginia, where he was a member of the SAE Fraternity.  He received his graduate degree from the Stonier Graduate School of Banking at Rutgers University.  During World War II, he served for three years in the armored artillery.

In 1950, Ralston married the love of his life Dorris Chapin, and together they created a wonderful home for their three children on Lookout Mountain.  He enjoyed playing golf and taking his children and grandchildren to Blue Springs Club where he taught them to hunt, fish and appreciate the outdoors.  His children fondly remember many weekends spent cooking out with friends and neighbors on Cinderella Road, family vacations in Florida, and fishing on the Suwannee River.   His children are grateful that he led by example in everything he did, demonstrating a solid work ethic, strong organizational skills and acute attention to detail.  He and Dorris loved laughing and having fun with their friends.  Some of their favorite times included playing golf in Highlands, rafting down the Ocoee River, enjoying their movie nights, hosting Super Bowl and 4th of July parties, and cruising the rivers in Europe.  Ralston also loved his big band and jazz music, a great joke, a big cigar, a cocktail on the porch, and dancing the night away.  But his greatest enjoyment came from spending time with his children and grandchildren, rehashing tales from the past and creating memories that they will cherish for a lifetime. 

Ralston had a wonderful career for nearly a half century in Chattanooga.  Prior to joining the Trust Department of the American National Bank and Trust Company of Chattanooga in 1950, (now SunTrust), he was employed by the Comptroller of the Currency as an assistant national bank examiner.  In 1965 he was made vice president and senior trust officer of the American National Bank and Trust Company in charge of the Personal Trust Department and in 1973, was selected to head the Trust Division as executive vice president – trust.

Ralston served as director of many companies including Chattanooga Bakery Inc., Duff Brothers, Inc., Alabama Coca Cola Bottling Company, and Senior Neighbors of Chattanooga.  He was past president of Junior Achievement of Chattanooga, the Trust Division of the Tennessee Bankers Association, the Estate Planning Council of Chattanooga, The Frye Institute, and the Chattanooga Chapter of the University of Virginia Alumni.  He served in various official capacities for the City of Lookout Mountain, GA, the Chattanooga Civitan Club, the Lookout Mountain Golf Club, the Allied Arts Fund, McCallie School Alumni Association, Chattanooga Audubon Society, the Legislative Council of The American Bankers Association, and the Blue Springs Club.  He was a faithful servant and member of the Lookout Mountain Presbyterian Church, where he served as both Deacon and Elder. He was a member of the Mountain City Club, Lookout Mountain Golf Club, and Fairyland Club.

Ralston was preceded in death by his wife, Dorris and his two older brothers, Alex and Peter. 

He is survived by his daughter, Carter Kay and her husband, Forde of Atlanta, his son, Ralston Wells  of Atlanta, and his daughter Mimi Patrick and husband Bailey of Charlotte, NC.  He is also survived by six grandchildren:  Will Kay, Chapin Kay, Maggie Kay, Bailey Patrick , Wells Patrick, and Carter Patrick. 

The family is grateful for the attention shown by all the caregivers of McCallister Personal Care Consultants, Hospice of Chattanooga and for the devotion of the Wells’ long time friend, Mary Goines.

A graveside service will be held at Forest Hill Cemetery at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 9.

Memorials may be made to the Lookout Mountain Presbyterian Church, 316 North Bragg Avenue, Lookout Mountain, TN 37350, or to Hospice of Chattanooga, 4411 Oakwood Drive, Chattanooga, TN 37416.

Visit www.heritagefh.com to share words of comfort to the family.

Arrangements are by Heritage Funeral Home, East Brainerd Road.


McReynolds, Danita Joy

Danita Joy McReynolds, 55, died on April 28, 2016 in a local hospital. Arrangements will be announced by John P. Franklin Funeral Home, 1101 Dodds Ave., 622-9995. (click for more)

Douglas, Cornelius Mariquis, Sr.

Cornelius Mariquis Douglas, Sr., 27, of Chattanooga, died on Sunday, April 24, 2016.   He was a member of Inner Peace Church.  Survivors include his sons, Cornelius Douglas, Jr., Israel Douglas, and Ngozi Bayete; parents, Harold and Laura Douglas, Sr., all of Chattanooga; brothers, Harold (Carolyn) Douglas, Jr. of Nashville and Jeffery (Lauren) Douglas of Chattanooga; ... (click for more)

Cox, Tina N. (LaFayette)

Tina  N.  Cox,  54,  of  LaFayette, Georgia,  passed  away  on  Thursday, April 28, 2016. She was a life-long resident of Walker County and was a graduate of LaFayette High School.  After graduating, she served  our  country  by  joining the  U.S.  Army.   As  an  active  ... (click for more)

Miller, Thomas F. "Tom" (Dalton)

Thomas F. "Tom" Miller, 71, of Dalton, Georgia, passed away Thursday, April 28, 2016 at his residence. He was the son of the late Fred and Louise Thomas Miller. Tom worked with Textile Rubber and Chemical Company for 52 years before retiring in January of this year. He is survived by his loving wife of 53 years, Frieda Hardin Miller of the residence; children and spouse, ... (click for more)

Dewayne Ray Burns Wanted After Firing Shots At Fort Oglethorpe Police Officers

Dewayne Ray Burns is wanted after police in North Georgia were led on a chase, and he fired shots at officers. Burns fired shots in their direction late Thursday night. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Fort Oglethorpe Police Department are investigating the incident. According to park rangers on the scene, the Burns ran away, while firing shots in the direction ... (click for more)

5 Considered For Cleveland City Manager Position

Five names were selected  Friday  by a citizens advisory committee to send to the Cleveland City Council for consideration as the next Cleveland city manager. The five are Angie Carrier, Joe Fivas, Mark Reeter, Seth Sumner and Julie Underwood. The list is being sent in alphabetical order so no one has an advantage when the city council considers the candidates. ... (click for more)