JAMES D. WELKER, 82, of Elida, died at 9 p.m. Feb. 5, 2005, at St. Rita's Medical Center.
He was born Sept. 18, 1922, in Detroit, to Clifford A. and Echo M. McGee Welker, who preceded him in death. On Aug. 24, 1944, he married Elizabeth G. Keefer, who survives.
Mr. Welker retired from the business of owning and operating sporting goods stores in three states. He was very active in civic affairs, serving two terms on the Elida Village Council in his later years. In his younger days, he was president of the Retail Merchants, vice president of the Junior and Senior Chamber of Commerce, and president of the County Rod and Gun Club, all in Bloomsburg, Penn. He was also active in Rotary International. He was a member of Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks Lodge 54, Lima, and the American Legion Post 96, Lima. He was a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3035, Delphos. He was a graduate of Williamsport Area High School and the Williamsport College in Pennsylvania.
As an avocation, Mr. Welker became a certified fly fishing professional and as such, taught the art of fly tying and fly fishing as director of the National Cortland School of Fly Fishing. He was a published author of the book titled "After The Catch".
He was a survivor of the Dec. 7 Japanese attack on the island of Oahu and Pearl Harbor and participated in many battles during World War II in the Pacific. He was Ohio state chairman of The Pearl Harbor Survivors Association. He served as the president of the Greater Lima Chapter 9 Pearl Harbor Survivors Association. He was Ohio state chairman of the nine PHSA chapters in Ohio. He was vice 7th District director over nine eastern states. As chairman, he was responsible for the naming of Interstate 75 in Ohio as Pearl Harbor Memorial Highway.
His hobbies included fresh and salt water fishing, skeet shooting, landscape painting in oils, and raising flowers, trees and shrubs for his yard. He enjoyed his computer and played cribbage on the I