Orley Welker Jr., 87, of Havana passed away at 10:36 p.m. Saturday, April 25, 2015, at Mason District Hospital in Havana. Born Dec. 2, 1927, in Fulton County to Orley Sr. and Frieda (Meyer) Welker, he married Verla Atwater on May 26, 1950. Surviving are his wife, son, Robert D., and daughter, Nancy (Ed) Oest, all of Havana; three grandchildren, Emma, Joby and Jed; four great-grandsons; and a special friend, Daisy Dog. Orley was preceded in death by his parents and twin daughters, Annette and Nanette.
Orley graduated from Lewistown Community High School and attended the University of Illinois and Western Illinois University. He taught elementary school briefly and went to work for Illinois Power Co. for 18 years. He was a business manager of IBEW Local 51 in Springfield and went on to work as an international representative with the 6th District IBEW, retiring in 1993. He spent 29 years in the U.S. Air Force and 183rd Tactical Fighter Squadron, retiring as a colonel in 1980.
Orley loved to fish, hunt mushrooms, ride his "Gator" and work crossword puzzles. He and Verla were able to do quite a lot of traveling, being in all 50 U.S. states, Mexico, Canada and two trips to Europe, traveling on a train pass from Switzerland. He was a member of American Legion Post 138 in Havana and a member of Central Christian Church in Havana.
A funeral service will be held on Wednesday, April 29, 2015, at 11 a.m. at Central Christian Church, 215 S. Broadway, Havana, Ill. Visitation will be held one hour prior, also at the church. Burial will follow at Laurel Hill Cemetery in Havana. The Rev. Emily Renee Williams will be officiating. Memorial contributions may be made to Central Christian Church in Havana or the Greater Peoria Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. Hurley Funeral Home in Havana is in charge of the arrangements.