Thelma Brown Welker, 88, passed away Saturday, November 23, 2019, at Morning Star Senior Living Center in Idaho Falls under the loving care of Encompass Hospice. She was born in Rigby, Idaho June 26, 1931, the fourth daughter to James Lorenzo Brown and Charlotte Jane Lowry. Thelma grew up in Rigby and graduated from Rigby High School.
On August 15, 1952 she married Robert C. Welker in the Idaho Falls Temple. To that union came 6 children. They lived in Montana, Utah, and Idaho. Thelma worked as a secretary for a trucking company while they lived in Utah. After her children were grown, she worked for former US Senate Steve Symms for several years and then for Falls Insurance for a few years before retiring. But her best loved job was that of being a full-time mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother to her family.
Thelma loved music and sang with her sister Betty in the Sweet Adeline’s. She was a gifted piano and organ player and graciously took the opportunity to play for many occasions. She loved to watch and listen to Lawrence Welk and the Vienna Boys Choir. For years at the family Christmas party it was a tradition for her and her daughter Colleen to play a duet of Sleigh Ride to the delight of all those who attended.
She was a superb homemaker and loved to grow and can all kinds of fruits and vegetables. She made the best jam from berries that came from her garden. Her favorite thing about being a homemaker was doing laundry.
She was involved in her community as a member of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers. As an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints she served in many callings in her ward and as a Temple Worker in the Idaho Falls Temple. Always willing to help and serve she could be found with a cheerful attitude and a sweet smile on her face. She and her husband Robert served as missionaries in the California, San Bernardino mission where they made many cherished friends.
Thelma is survived by her husband, Robert C. Welker, and children Mark (Laurie) Welker and Reed (Tina) Welker both of Idaho Falls; Colleen (John) Crystal of Rexburg; and Gordon (Shawnda) Welker and Ron and Karen Gutke both of Shelley; 20 grandchildren and 42 great grandchildren with 1 on the way.
She was preceded in death by her parents and siblings: Maureen, Betty, and Nadine; daughter Rhonda Gutke; son Gaylon Welker; granddaughter Kenadi Welker, and great grandson Austin Hayes.
Funeral services will be at 11:00 AM on Wednesday, November 27, 2019, at the Jameston Ward building (1101 E. 1250 N., Shelley). The family will receive friends on Tuesday evening from 6:00 to 8:00PM at Nalder Funeral Home (110 W. Oak, Shelley) and on Wednesday from 10:00 to 10:40 AM at the Church. Burial will be at Annis Little Butte Cemetery.