Rebekah Wells, born November 24, 1981, passed away on Thursday, June 23, 2016 at the Huntsman Cancer Center, where she battled stage IV cancer for the past three months.
Rebekah was born in Idaho Falls, ID and moved to Monticello, UT when she was in the third grade. She worked diligently in the family wilderness treatment business and at 14 was an assistant instructor on one of the courses.
She had great insights about people, and worked for many years as trail and office staff. After graduating a year early from Monticello High School in 1999, she attended Southern Utah University, Snow College, and University of Utah.
She held many jobs including caring for the adult disabled and helping teen unwed mothers and their infants. Rebekah traveled all over the United States, Mexico and South America.
She lived in Italy and learned Italian, returning many times. It was her second home.
In 2010, she met her fiancé, Isaac Monares. They have had many adventures together.
She graduated from the University of Utah with a bachelors of science and a masters degree in Social Work.
She worked for Recovery Ways as an RA, therapist and clinical director. She loved her job and the people she worked with.
They raised money to help with bills, and sent flowers and food often. They also held a memorial service for employees and alumni.
Rebekah is survived by her fiance Isaac Monares, parents Larry and Karen Wells, siblings John (Emilee) Wells, Chris (Krista) Wells, Aleesha (Brinton) Sharpe, Anngela (Buddy) Starnes, Monte (Sheila) Wells, Michelle (Bevan) Jeppesen, Torren (Adel) Wells and Tereena (Mark) Barnes, and many nieces and nephews.
A celebration of her life will be held at 7 p.m. on July 6 at Sugarhouse Park, Parley’s Creek Pavillion, (2100 South and 13th East), in Salt Lake City.
“Not everyone leaves a legacy as deeply felt”
Thirty-four years is too young to pass away. Though the pain and suffering for Rebekah Wells, from cancer, is over as of Thursday June 23, 2016, the pain for those left behind will take time for healing.
The Wells family is known to many of you in the treatment world, for their love of children and dedication to family and people in need. Rebekah was a true member of that family tradition.
I began visiting treatment programs 18 trips ago, many years, so I met beautiful Rebekah as an adolescent. She would take me on tours out in the field with young people, some her age, and to experience the outdoor treatment program the family ran in the southeastern area of Moab and Monticello, Utah. Larry and Karen were pioneers in the field of short-term treatment and Rebekah grew up in the middle of her parents healing community.
She grew up faster than many young people of her age. She spontaneously made good friendships with her wonderful smile and love of life. Rebekah made people feel her warmth from the first moment.
I loved it when I was sitting in a therapy session in a motel room for group therapy when she needled me with the comment that I should pay attention and stop looking out the window at the deer which grazed nearby.
Rebekah was in my life until the end and our communications continued as she achieved a great professional life in helping people who struggled and were fortunate enough to receive her help.
She never let anyone down; she had a level of sensitivity rarely seen, but in the best traditions of her family and the human services. Somehow in her busy life she took time and traveled when she could, spreading her love of life as far as she could reach.
People pass away regularly in life; that is part of the human condition. Not everyone leaves a legacy as deeply felt as that of Rebekah. She just made you feel good, hopeful, and directed you to have fun.
As one who continues to survive in the last quarter of a century, it is particularly powerful and sad to lose my friend Rebekah. There aren’t many Rebekah’s in the world. I have met a small core of others like her, as one who spent a career working with adolescent children.
Rebekah, however, stands out because she provided an insight into the field of helping adolescent children and adults. Such people give their lives to encourage and help others and in my world are known as givers, not takers.
Rebekah was at the top of the scale when it came to her contribution to our lives. She made others feel competent, cared for and listened to. She brought her smile and playfulness to people who had lost sight of the sun and even hope for a moment of play. That is what human service people try to do everyday on the front lines.
The problems of people in large numbers are painful and discouraging. Sharing and helping with such burdens is exactly what Rebekah was about. I am sure she will live on with all of us and I am sure she would ask only that we carry on her work. She would ask us to celebrate her life.
What she wouldn’t ask is the message of her life: give back to others; they need you. We need to take that message from her work and maybe she will accept that as a gift to her for what she brought to the world.
Bob Kantar, friend
Thank you Rebekah, you will be carried in my heart always.