HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- Lucy Cordell-Wells has been a fixture in her Henrico County community since the Eisenhower administration.
"I had horses ever since I have been out here," Cordell-Wells said about her neighborhood in Henrico's West End. "(This) was all wooded area. None of that was here. No stores when we moved here."
The 81-year-old woman watched this once rural part of the West End, near Patterson Avenue and Parham Road, grow up around her. But Lucy would not think of living anywhere else. Especially after investing so much in the people of Henrico.
"When I got involved I had to do the very best. I had to continue to rise up and not sit still and do anything," she recalled.
Wells has dedicated her life to 14 organizations, from the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration and Quioccasin Baptist Church to the NAACP and American Business Women Association.
"One day at a time. But I enjoyed the journey," she said.
The dynamo has led each group and even chaired seven organizations at one time.
But she is quick to credit others.
"There again you need support and help. No man is alone. You have to do things together," she said.
Married for 57 years, Mrs. Wells juggled her responsibilities while raising six children and running a successful daycare.
Her resume leaves those who know her, like life-long neighbor Harvey Taylor, breathless.
"And the things that she has done she does not do for recognition, she does it because she wants to do it," Taylor said. "Mrs. Wells is like a trailblazer in Henrico County. She is always looking out for others."
Reverend Duane Hardy admitted he had big shoes to fill as the new chair of the Dr. King Commemoration.
"Her legacy is service," Rev. Hardy said. "She is still a part of our meetings and part of our input there are no signs of slowing down. No stopping."
Rev. Hardy said Mrs. Wells inspires everyone.
"Every time we see her, or greet her, she is full of energy and love," Rev. Hardy said.
Like her Westhampton neighborhood, Mrs. Wells is transitioning.
"Whatever I have accomplished in life, if I can share it, that means a lot," she said. "Your knowledge is never lost when you share it with someone else."
The Henrico institution may be reducing her roles, but certainly not away from the people and groups that have shaped her rich life.
"I don’t like to sit still," she said. "I like to be active I really do. And involved."
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