Herman A. Welke, Jr.

Eaton Rapids, Michigan

Herman died Thursday, February 25, 2016, after a two week struggle trying to recover from a surgery at Sparrow Hospital.  Herman was born April 27, 1936, to Herman A. Welke Sr. and Catherine (Bowling) Welke at the University of Michigan Hospital, Ann Arbor, MI. He grew up in the Ann Arbor area and graduated from Ann Arbor Pioneer High School in 1954. He attended the University of Michigan – College of Engineering from 1954-1956. In 1956 he enlisted for four years in the U.S. Air Force where he was trained in military cartographic design. After release from active duty in 1960, he again studied at the U of M College of Engineering. In 1961 Herman was hired by the Michigan State Highway Dept. (MDOT) and worked in various divisions of engineering and design. After 35 years of dedicated service and valuable contributions in the state government, he retired in 1996.

Herman married Sylvia Irene Millard in 1965 and together moved to Holt, MI. Then they built a home on six acres in the country in Eaton Rapids, MI. Here, they raised their family and enjoyed many gardening activities. Herman had a beautiful apple/pear orchard and a productive vegetable garden. He would spend hours in the kitchen processing to preserve all the garden produce he harvested. When his children grew up, they would not eat store bought applesauce – only Herman’s applesauce.

Herman enjoyed woodworking as a hobby. Herman made a solid cherry end table in 9th grade that is still used in the home. Also, his hand-crafted dining room table is a family treasure. Herman was a talented handyman around the house. He could fix most anything.

Herman was a faithful member of the Holt United Methodist Church for 50 years. He taught adult Sunday school, served as financial and stewardship chairperson for 12 years, and helped with the mission activities of the United Methodist Women. After retirement, he volunteered for Christian Services using his truck to pick up donated furniture and delivering it to those in need. Also, the Lansing Christian School appreciated his volunteering at their thrift store – Hidden Treasures.

Surviving are his wife, Sylvia of 50 years; children, Marla (John) Gianiodis, Barbara (Bernd) Habermeier, and Brian Welke; grandchildren, Kaylee, Holly, Ben, and honorary granddaughter Taryn Clapsaddle; and great-granddaughter, Lilly.

He was an avid Detroit Tiger fan. He enjoyed U of M football and basketball games.

Herman was soft-spoken, and had a kind, generous spirit. He was loved by his family, relatives, co-workers, neighbors, and church friends.

A memorial service celebrating Herman’s life will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, April 26, 2016, at the Holt United Methodist Church, 2321 N. Aurelius Rd., Holt. In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to the Holt United Methodist Church or Lansing Christian School. Arrangements are by the Estes-Leadley Holt/Delhi Chapel.

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Mary Gibbs
March 2, 2016 at 10:22 am

Deepest condolence to family and friends. I remember Herman as a kind friendly man during the time we both worked at the Michigan Department of Transportation. He was always helpful and welcomed me with friendly conversations. This obituary is very nicely done. Grace, peace and mercy to you all. Rest in heavenly peace Minister Herman A. Welke, Jr.


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