Howard E. Welker, 94, passed away Monday, October 28, 2013 due to natural causes at his home in Loveland, CO surrounded by his loved ones. A funeral service will be held on November 4th at 10:00 am at the Whitted Funeral Chapel in Shelby followed by a graveside service in the Mountain View Cemetery with Veteran's Honors. A reception will follow in the Methodist Church Fellowship Hall. Donations may be made to DAV, Wounded Warrior Project, Fisher House, USO, VFW, Army Emergency Relief, or Building Homes for Heroes. |
Howard was born January 20, 1919 to John L and May (Baldwin) Welker in Pawnee County, Oklahoma, alongside Bear Creek, not a hospital. He was the fifth of nine children. His family moved to Shelby, MT when he was 3 years old. His dad, John, started a homestead NW of Shelby. He had great memories of traveling from OK to MT and back several times which took 10 days during that time of travel. Living on the homestead with no ground water, no fire wood, and no natural gas, was a tough life.
Howard had a very active life and was gifted by God in many ways. He was selling newspapers at 5 years old. Music was a big part of his life. He read music by ear and played guitar and harmonica with friends in MT. He skipped 3 grades in school and graduated from ShelbyHigh School. He also graduated from an aeronautics school at the start of WW II graduating as the #1 student out of 364.
He joined the Army Air Corps during WWII flying as a navigator of 50 bombing raids from N Africa into Italy. "Howard was very fortunate for the survival rate for flying 50 missions was around 20%." Howard returned to the U.S. to meet the one he loved dearly, Genevieve Kahler, Maywood, NE. They were married on Dec. 11, 1943, in Sioux City, Iowa and later moved to Shelby, MT where he and his brother, James, started the Welker Brothers wheat farm. Howard retired 45 years later and moved to Carlsbad, CA to be with his daughter Judy Welker and then to Loveland, CO in 1991. After WWII he and his 5 brothers began bowling since his oldest brother, Lawrence, owned a bowling alley in Shelby. He won the national VFW bowling tournament after WWII and many other bowling tournaments in MT. Later on, he began golfing and eventually had 3 holes in one. He loved to fish, work cross word puzzles and was very active watching the news and political events. He became a believer in Jesus Christ and we know that he is at rest in heaven.
He is survived by his daughter, Judy Welker, Carlsbad, CA, son and wife, Jim and Claudia Welker, Loveland, CO, granddaughter Claudette Murtha, Colorado Springs, grandson, Craig Welker, Loveland, CO and two great grandchildren, Amber and Hannah Murtha, Colorado Springs. He was preceded in death by his mother, May Myers, father John Welker, his wife Genevieve, 5 brothers and 3 sisters, Lawrence, Forest, Blanche, Ralph, Alma, Miles, James, and Corinne