Wilbert E. Welker, 95, surrounded by his loving family, passed away peacefully Sunday, February 21, 2016, at his home in Jackson. He will be remembered for his kind smile, positive attitude, faithfulness to Christ and his church, and his dedication to prayer.
One of ten children, he was born April 6, 1920, near Highland, Missouri (rural Perry County), to Jesse and Frances Schumer Welker. The entire family faithfully attended St. Joseph Catholic Church in Highland. He completed 8th grade at the former Cashion School near Highland.
He was a U.S. Army veteran of World War II, serving honorably from February 2, 1942 to October 3, 1945. He served over three years in the Asiatic Pacific Theatre Campaign, during which time he exchanged letters with Stella Brands, a young nurse employed at Saint Francis Hospital. They were married April 7, 1947, at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Cape Girardeau.
The Welkers briefly farmed near Sedgewickville, Missouri. In 1948, they moved to Gordonville, where they owned and operated a dairy farm until moving to Jackson in 2005. Five children were born to their union, and they enjoyed 58 happy years together before Stella’s passing on February 6, 2006.
Wilbert was a longtime member of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church; a 3rd degree member of Bishop-Timon K.C. Council 6405; a 4th degree member of I.C. Assembly 2099; and a longtime member of Altenthal-Joerns American Legion Post 158, all in Jackson. He also participated in the Perpetual Adoration at Saint Francis Hospital in Cape Girardeau and the monthly Rosaries at the Grotto of St. Mary’s of the Barrens in Perryville.
Loving survivors include five children, Susan (Jim) Stoverink and Mary Anne (Jack) Martin of Jackson, Ed (Kathy) Welker and Wib (Ann) Welker of Gordonville, Jim (Terri) Welker of Cape Girardeau; a brother, Glennon Welker of Cape Girardeau; and a sister, Beulah “Boots” Brant of Denver, Colorado.
Also surviving are 17 grandchildren, Jim (Debbie) Stoverink, Tom (Laura) Stoverink, Christy (Matt) Margrabe, Luke (Danielle) Stoverink, and Tyson Stoverink all of Jackson, John (Keely) Martin,
Michael (Katelyn) Martin of Jackson, and Sarah (Steve) Buchheit of St. Louis, Alex (Liz) Welker of Jackson, Briana (Jamie) Brown of Gordonville, Chris Welker of Gordonville, Angela (Skylar) Lachenmayr of Charlotte, North Carolina, David Welker and fiancee Megan of Sikeston, Missouri, Nicholas (Jess) Welker of Macon, Missouri, Matthew (Julie) Welker of Cape Girardeau, Justin (Jennifer) Welker of Columbia, Illinois, Emily Welker of Cape Girardeau; and 23 great-grandchildren,
Kyle and Whitten Stoverink, T.J. and Austin Stoverink, Rachel, Caleb, and Eli Margrabe, Brayden, Rylan, and Kinsley Martin, Cathlyn Buchheit, Alexius and Ashley Welker, Abby Davis, Landon, Ethan, Grayson, and Megan Brown, Carter Welker, Henry and Bode Welker, Kemper and Maxyn Welker.
He was preceded in death by his wife, two brothers, and five sisters.
Visitation will be Wednesday, February 24, 2016, from 3:30 to 8:30 p.m., at McCombs Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Jackson. Deacon Walter Biri will lead Parish Prayers at 7:30 p.m., immediately followed with the Rosay lead by members of Bishop-Timon K.C. Council 6405.
The funeral Mass will be Thursday, February 25, 2016, at 10 a.m., at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Jackson, with Father John Harth officiating.
Burial will follow at Russell Heights Cemetery in Jackson.
Memorials may take the form of contributions to Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Notre Dame Regional High School, or Jackson R-2 School District Foundation.
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