Max Welker Dies At Age 67

Harley Max Welker, 67, of Astoria, died at 6:12 a.m. Thursday, July 3, 1986, at Mason District Hospital in Havana. 

He was born May 12, 1919, at Astoria, a son of Harley and Pearl Punneo Welker. He married Frances Virginia Jones April 2, 1939, in Keokuk, Iowa. 

She survives, along with three daughters, Mrs. Neil (Phyllis) Aten of Creve Coeur, Mrs. Norman (Bonnie) White and Mrs. Jim (Kathy) Hickle, both of Astoria; one son, Capt. Kerry Welker of Colorado Springs, Colo.; eight grandchildren; two great grandchildren; four sisters, Mrs. Opal Wolfe of Peoria, Mrs. Evelyn Rahmeyer of Toulon, Mrs. Loralee Head and Mrs. Doris Derry, both of Astoria.

He was preceded in death by his parents and four brothers. 

Max lived his entire life in Astoria.

He retired from Caterpillar in 1976 after 31 years of service. He was a Navy veteran of W. W. II, serving in the South Pacific and a proud member of Astoria American Legion Post 25; a past officer of Tri-County Traveler’s Camping Club and had served a four year term on the Astoria Village Board.  He was a member of the Astoria United Methodist Church. 

Funeral services were held at 1: 30 p.m. Sunday afternoon at Shawgo Memorial Home in Astoria with Rev. Bruce W. Bolin-Ghitalla officiating. Burial was in the Astoria Cemetery. 

The flowing eulogy entitled “Dad” was presented at graveside by his son, Kerry Welker. It was composed by Kerry to relay the thoughts of himself and his sisters, Phyllis, Bonnie and Kathy. 


Dad on one of those rare individuals left in the world today who held trustworthiness, loyalty, and honesty very dear to his heart. 

He ruled his family with an iron hand, covered with a velvet glove. He taught us how to be self-reliant and responsible.

An ingenious man, he could face a nearly impossible problem, get out his “baling wire and paper clips” and find a solution.

“Where there’s a will, there’s a way” and “Any job worth doing is worth doing right” were trite but typical expressions that ruled his life and ours. 

He wasn’t one to outwardly express his love for his family, but we knew we were dearly loved through his actions and deeds.

We loved and respected him a great deal, and we are comforted by knowing that our memories will keep him alive forever. 

Published in the Astoria South Fulton Argus on 7/9/1986


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