William "Bill" Welker

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William “Bill” Welker

June 29, 1925 ~ April 13, 2018

William “Bill” Welker, 92, of Willmar, died Friday, April 13th at Bethesda Grand in Willmar.  His funeral service will be 11:00 AM Friday, April 20th at Vinje Lutheran Church in Willmar. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church.  Burial will be in Fairview Cemetery in Willmar.  Arrangements are with Harvey Anderson Funeral Home in Willmar. www.hafh.org

William “Bill” Kenneth Welker was born June 29, 1925, in Benson, Minnesota, the son of William and Minda (Johnson) Welker.  Bill grew up in Benson and graduated from Benson High School in the Class of 1944.  He was Benson High School’s first Homecoming King in 1943. He excelled in football, basketball and baseball.  On June 8, 1946, Bill was united in marriage to Marie Jane Barduson at Big Bend Lutheran Church.  The couple moved to Willmar in 1947, where Bill began working for Erickson Furniture.  He then went to school in New York for floor covering installation.  He opened his own business in Willmar, Welker Floor Covering and Welker Interiors.  Bill retired in 1997.  He later delivered flowers for Crown Floral in Willmar, a job he loved, spreading joy and visiting with people. 

    Bill was a member of Vinje Lutheran Church in Willmar where he was an usher, server for the annual Lutefisk Supper; he served as a Deacon and with Lutheran Brotherhood.  He was also active with the Willmar Kiwanis, Sheriff’s Reserve, 4-H Leader, Swift County Fair Board and the Kandiyohi County Fair Board.

    Bill’s priority was always: his wife, daughters, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, always attending their activities and events.  He enjoyed visiting with family and friends, including 40 years of Monday night coffee.  Bill also enjoyed gardening, sports, reading, camping, and attending the Minnesota State Fair.  Bill’s passion was riding horses on trails and ballroom dancing.

    Bill is survived by his wife, Marie, of Willmar; daughters: Linda (Bill) Kimberlin of Lakeland, FL, Brenda (Warren Matson) Sachs of New London, Paula (Scott) Swansson of Woodbury; 8 grandchildren: Chad Sachs (Sandy King), Amy (Curry) Sandven, Chris (Tammi) Swansson, Jay (Ryan Michelle) Swansson, Lane (Ashley) Swansson, Maggie McCormack (Chris Mueller), Mindy (Willie) Fischer; 14 great-grandchildren: Kiara Malachi and Ariana Fischer, Channing and Easton Sachs, Amelia, Brock and Aubrey Sandven, Chance and Kylie Swansson, Mack Swansson, Jett and Evelyn Swansson, Deion Sachs; and several nieces, nephews and other relatives and friends.

    Bill was preceded in death by his parents; sisters: Audrey Loen, Lola Chesick and Arlys Barduson; brothers, Keith Welker and Neil Welker; sister-in-law, Barb Welker; brothers-in-law: Delmer Loen, John Chesick Harry Barduson; and grandson, Benjamin William Sachs.   The family would like to thank the staff at Bethesda Grand for the amazing care Bill received.         

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