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Fairfield's John Wellner, Special Olympian

John F. Wellner, a lifelong Fairfield resident, died March 22 at St. Vincent’s Medical Center at the age of 49 after a long battle with paraplegic complications. Wellner was a two-time medalist at the Special Olympics.

Wellner was born Feb. 21, 1962, in Bridgeport and grew up in Fairfield. He graduated from Roger Ludlowe High School in 1981. A talented bookkeeper, he worked in his family's businesses, Greenfield Hill Service Station and the John Wellner Construction Co. He also co-owned a local liquor store with his sister.

Wellner was an avid sports fan, twice winning medals at the Connecticut Special Olympics and rooting throughout his life for the New York Yankees. He also enjoyed going to a wide variety of movies, watching cooking shows, reading, shopping, eating out at restaurants, and spending time outdoors near the water at the town marina and at St. Mary's by the Sea. Family members remember his terrific sense of humor, and that he caught the hearts of all he met with his warm smile and a positive view of others.

Wellner is survived by his parents, John and Mary Wellner; siblings Eileen Wellner and Anthony Wellner, both of Fairfield; and aunts, uncles and several cousins as well as his best friends, Michele, Dorinda, Debbie and Cindy. He was buried Monday morning at Oak Lawn Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be directed to the Special Olympics of Connecticut, 2666 State St., Suite 1, Hamden, CT 06517-2232.

Did you know John Wellner? Share your memories in the comments below.

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