MOORESVILLE Richard A. Welke, of Mooresville, passed away early Monday morning April 29, 2019. Richard was born Jan. 24, 1925, in Elmhurst, N.Y., at home, and delivered by his grandmother during a total eclipse of the sun. His parents were Rudolph and Helen (Kraus) Welke. He attended high school in Highland Falls, N.Y., and received a bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering from New York University. Richard proudly served in World War II, on the front lines in France and Germany from 1943 to 1946. He served as a Field Lineman for the 100th Infantry Division, 399th Regiment Company and received many honors and decorations for his valor. This includes the Combat Infantry Badge, two Bronze Metals for bravery under fire, as well as the Republic of France's highest honor awarded to foreign soldiers, The Legion of Honor. He married Marilyn Meslin in 1950, and raised his family in Wyckoff, N.J., from 1953 to 1984, and owned his own steel deck business, General Deck Inc. He was a member of the Lions Club and was a 65-year member of the Masonic Lodge of Wyckoff, N.J. They moved to Palm Harbor, Fla., from 1984 to 1998. After his wife Marilyn passed away in 1998, he became a proud citizen of Mooresville, where he has resided for the last 21 years. He was active in the local Exchange Club, a member of the Broad Street United Methodist Church, worked for the law firm of Homesley, Goodman and Wingo for many years, and was a regular at the Military Veteran's group at Richard's Coffee Shop. In 2018 he was inducted into the North Carolina Military Veterans Hall of Fame in Charlotte. He was passionate about supporting all military and veteran organizations and events, even riding in the Mooresville Veteran's Day Parade for many consecutive years. He had two children, Robert A Welke, who predeceased him in 1996, and Carolyn Underwood who currently lives in Mooresville with her husband, Robert Underwood; and four surviving granddaughters, Valentene P Reily of Irvine, Calif., Elizabeth (Welke) Lindsey, Carley Welke and Hayley Welke. Everyone who met him loved him. He was the most kind and loving man I'd ever known and would do anything for anyone. His kindness was contagious. He often said, "A stranger is only a friend I haven't met yet". He will be missed dearly by everyone. He will be honored at Richard's Coffee Shop Saturday, May 11, at 2 p.m., by family and friends. No need for formality, come as you are. This is a celebration of his life, and a well lived life it was.

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