James W. Welcher age 89, died on February 14, 2013, at La Canada Care Facility. Mr. Welcher is survived by his wife, Erika; one daughter, Mary Jane Patten; seven step children, 26 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren, four great-great-grandchildren; and a brother, Lee Roy Welcher. Mr. Welcher was preceded in death by his step son Jack Quirk. Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) James Welcher, known as Jim, was born in Warren County, Kentucky, on June 13, 1923. Jim moved with his family to Iowa and graduated high school in 1942 in Wellman, Iowa. Jim served his country for 27 years with a distinguished career and was a veteran of World War II
, and the Korean and Vietnam War
s. He served three years with distinction as a U.S. Marine from 1942 to 1945 where participated in the Central Pacific, Eastern Mandates and Philippines Campaigns. Following his service with the Marine Corps, Jim joined the Army
and served from March 6, 1947 until his retirement on July 1, 1970. He served with the 2nd Infantry Division in Korea from 1950-1951. Following his assignment in Korea, Jim received his commission in the U.S. Army as an Engineer Officer on October 16, 1952 and continued to serve in Vietnam, India, Panama, Germany, and may posts in the United States. During his career with the Army, he was awarded the Bronze Star
Medal with"V", the Silver Star with "V", the Korean Presidential Unit Citation, the Korean Service Medal, the Air Medal, and many other commendations for his dedication and bravery. Upon retiring from the Army, Jim continued to serve his country as Project Manager for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Lake Mendocino, Ukiah, California. Here he met his wonderful wife, Erika, and had a great life for the next 38 years. Jim moved to Tucson with his wife in 1990 where he hiked, rode his bicycle, prospected in the desert, spent time with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. His patriotism and sense of compassion and caring remained with him his entire life. Donations in honor of his service to his country may be made to the Disabled American Veterans A Memorial Celebration of Jim's life will be held at Westward Look Resort, the Palm Room, Tucson, on Wednesday, February 20, 2013, 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Arrangements by ADAIR FUNERAL HOME - Avalon.