Grandsons of Wayne County resident honor late grandfather with new scholarship

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Three Marshall University medical alumni have established a new endowed scholarship at the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine in honor of their late grandfather.

Cousins Samuel D. Wellman Jr., M.D., class of 1983 and a neonatologist in Hickory, North Carolina; Marc A. Workman, M.D., class of 1986 and family medicine physician in Louisa, Kentucky; and James F. Spears II, M.D., class of 1987 and an independent contractor in family practice/urgent care in Huntington, created the Roy Wellman Endowed Scholarship to carry on the legacy of their grandfather and Wayne County, West Virginia, native Roy Wellman.

Roy Wellman first enrolled at Marshall College in 1928, after graduating with high honors from the original Huntington High School. He was able to earn a provisional teaching certificate before the Great Depression halted his formal higher education training. He taught in Wayne County schools for nearly six years and he and his wife, Blanche Lakin Wellman, owned and operated a small store selling groceries, everyday merchandise, appliances and feed for livestock. He also worked at the Louisa City Bank for several years before joining the Wayne County Bank, from which he eventually retired after serving many roles from bank teller and loan officer to a member of the board of directors. He passed away in 1980 at the age of 71.

Higher education was always important to Mr. Wellman, who encouraged his seven grandchildren to attend college. He also lived by example, going back to earn his Regents Bachelor of Arts degree from Marshall University in May 1978. Each grandchild subsequently attended Marshall University and earned degrees ranging from bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social Work and geology to journalism and mass communications.

The three cousins agree that the example set by their grandfather was a motivating factor in their decisions to pursue careers in medicine, citing his compassion and care for those he served throughout his life. As a country store owner, he provided vital lines of credit to his neighbors in need, and as a banker, he always treated his clients as friends and neighbors. Roy Wellman always saw the best in the men and women in his community, his grandchildren said. Now, his grandchildren are giving back to the university that has been such an important part of the entire family’s lives.

The Roy Wellman Endowed Scholarship is designated for Marshall medical students from Wayne County. For more information or to make a gift to the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, please contact Linda Holmes, director of development and alumni affairs, at 304-691-1711 or For news and information about the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, follow us on Twitter @MUSOMWV, like us on Facebook or visit


Photos (1) Mr. Roy Wellman; (2) Pictured left to right in the front row are Roy Wellman’s children, Nell Spears, Sam Wellman and Nancy Workman. Grandsons Drs. James Spears, Sam Wellman Jr. and Marc Workman are on the second row, also from left to right.

Contact: Sheanna M. Spence, Marshall Health/Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, 304-691-1639

Date Posted: Tuesday, November 15, 2022