Elisabeth Wells, 81, who had done volunteer work in Northern Virginia for the elderly and the aging, died May 25 at a hospital in Lakeland, Fla., of complications from a stroke. The death was confirmed by her stepdaughter, Charilyn Cowan.
Before moving to Lakeland in 2006, Mrs. Wells had lived in McLean for 45 years.
Elisabeth Schmidt-Larsen was a native of Jaegerspris, Denmark, a town near Copenhagen that was occupied by the Germans during World War II. After the war, she studied at universities in France and was a flight attendant with Scandinavian Airlines.
In 1961, she married Air Force Col. William G. Wells Jr. and immigrated to the United States. In the late 1960s, she was an office administrator and manager at National Geographic and Georgetown University.
At George Mason University, she received a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1986 and a master’s degree in elder sociology in 1994. She volunteered with the White House Project on Intergenerational Activities and did research and volunteer fieldwork with Fairfax County’s Office on Aging.
She and her husband were separated for about 20 years before divorcing in 2007.
Survivors include a son, Marcus Wells of Lakeland; four stepchildren, Michael Wells of Gates, N.C., Charilyn Cowan of McLean, Roberta Orr of Fairfax and Larisa Wells of Elkins, W.Va.; two sisters; six grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
— Bart Barnes