James D. Welker, age 84, of Huntsville, died Nov. 27, 2012. Graveside services will be 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, at Tuscaloosa Memorial Park with Dr. Herbert Thomas officiating and Tuscaloosa Memorial Chapel Funeral Home directing. Visitation will be 30 minutes prior to services at the graveside.
James D. Welker grew up in Olney, Ill. and served with the U.S. Marine Corps from 1950 to 1956. He taught high school biology and coached for a number of years in the Chicago area until he became a charter instructor in biology at the newly-organized Olney Community College in Olney, Ill. in 1963. After receiving his doctorate at Indiana University in 1969, he taught at the University of Alabama in the Department of Education until his retirement in 1992. During his tenure with the university he served as the Director of the Junior Science Academy of the State of Alabama. He served with the Golden K Kiwanis Club after retirement and was an avid gardener and landscaper. He was an active member of Circlewood Baptist Church in Tuscaloosa, and at the time of his death was a member of Whitesburg Baptist Church in Huntsville.
Survivors include his wife, Barbara Welker of Huntsville; his daughter, Kathleen Welker of Tuscaloosa; his sons, Dr. Weston Welker and wife, Marci of Huntsville and Vance Welker and wife, Trina of Shelbyville, Ky.; his stepson, James Becton of Tuscaloosa; his brother, Wildon Welker of Olney, Ill.; his grandchildren, Joshua Welker of Los Angeles, Calif., J. Matthew Welker and wife, Zena of Los Angeles, Calif., Molly Welker of Huntsville, Jeff Tucker of Denver, Colo., and Daniel Welker of Shelbyville, Ky.; and his great-grandchild, Camden Welker of Los Angeles, Calif.
He was preceded in death by his father, Harry D. Welker, and his mother, Mary Jane von Almen.