Obituary: DELMAR “KAY” WELKER
December 23, 1930 – October 22, 2021
Dalmar Kay Welker was born December 23, 1930 on the farm and in the same house that his mother Beatrice (Layton) Welker was born in, near Thatcher, AZ. His father was Ellis Welker, born in nearby Safford, Arizona. Kay passed away peacefully at his home at the age of 90 on October 22, 2021.
Kay’s brother, Gerald was born in 1923; followed by his sister, Anna Jean in 1938; and his little sister, Claudia who arrived in 1947. He had a unique childhood with the vast age difference of all his siblings.
Kay grew up on an Arizona farm where they had 200 acres of cotton and alfalfa. Kay was paid 50 cents to thin the cotton, hoe weeds and stack hay. They also ran cattle out on the desert. Kay was on the basketball and football teams while attending Ft. Thomas; grades 7-11. The gravel football field he played on was blasted out of the side of the mountain. Nearly half of his class was Apache Indian and didn’t speak any English when they started school.
The summer before Kay’s senior year in high school, his family moved to a small dairy north of Colorado Springs, where he met Frances Pinello. They both graduated in 1949. Kay sold his horse to buy Frances an engagement ring, and they eloped to Raton, NM on April 21, 1949.
Kay and Frances lived in Colorado Springs, where he worked on the family dairy for three years. In 1952, the Welker family moved to Wellington, CO, where Kay and his dad ran a Grade-A dairy until 1963, when his dad retired and sold the dairy to Kay and Frances. Two sons were born, Jim and Ed, and later five grandchildren joined the family.
In 1969, Kay and his sons, began building a hog farm in Wellington – 240 sows, farrow to finish. In the mid 80’s, Kay and Frances moved to Orchard to farm corn, alfalfa, beets, pintos and wheat. They later raised beef cattle with Jim.
Kay was a member of the Wellington Lions Club for about 10 years, and was the president in the late ‘70’s. He also liked to bowl and was in a men’s service club league.
Kay loved to hunt! Although he and his family hunted elk, mountain goats, geese and quail, his greatest love was sheep hunting. He was so happy when he got his Grand Slam: 1973: dall sheep, as well as a grizzly bear and a moose; 1984: bighorn sheep; 1986; stone sheep; 2002; desert bighorn.
Survivors include sons, Jim Welker (Nancy) of Weldona and Edward Welker (Linda) of Wiggins; grandchildren, Marie Welker of Ft. Collins, Jon Welker of Longmont, Brenda Thornton (Justin) of Denver, Jeffrey Welker of Aurora and Matthew Welker of Ovid; great grandchildren, Bradly Welker, Amelia Thornton and Spencer Thornton.
Kay was preceded in death by his parents; his brother Gerald Welker and his wife Frances Welker.
Graveside Services will be held Wednesday October 27th at 2:30PM at Memory Gardens Cemetery in Fort Morgan. Interment will follow.
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