He was born September 19, 1919, in rural Hokah, Minn., to Herman and Emma (Hartman) Welke. On October 21, 1944, he married Margaret Heimerdinger at the Evangelical and Reformed Church in Crooked Creek Township, Houston County, Minn. Together they farmed in rural Hokah for many years. They shared over 67 years of marriage together before Margaret preceded Erwin in death on December 13, 2011.
In addition to farming, Erwin drove school bus, worked as a custodian at the Hokah Elementary School, and drove semi-truck for R.B. Roth. He was an active member of the Hokah United Methodist Church. Erwin also got much enjoyment from umpiring at softball games.
Survivors include five children, Dianne (Pat Chase) Welke of Mantorville, Minn., Jerry (Cindy) Welke, Linda Welke, and Janet (John) Justin, all of Hokah, and David Welke (Linda Hahn) of Caledonia; six grandchildren, Erica (Luke) Lampert, Andrew (Rochelle) Welke, Andrea (Derrick) Petersen, Josie (Roger) Papenfuss, Jackie Justin vonUhl (Brandon vonUhl), and Jamie (Greg) Larsen; nine great-grandchildren, Ian Welke, Damien and Sawyer Lampert, Kaydince and Hunter Welke, Irelynn and Camdyn Papenfuss, Dominic Petersen, and Easton Larsen; and two sisters-in-law, Julia Welke and Caroline Heimerdinger.
In addition to his wife, Erwin was preceded in death by his parents; one sister, Irene (Clarence) Hammer; three brothers, Leonard (LaVern), Clarence, and Lloyd Welke; one sister-in-law, Luella (Luther) Martin; and one brother-in-law, Adolph Heimerdinger.
Funeral services will be Thursday, May 30, 2013, at 11:00 a.m. at the Hokah United Methodist Church, 148 Main St. Rev. Mark Bengtson will officiate. Burial will be in Mount Hope Cemetery. A visitation will be held at the church on Thursday from 10:00 a.m. until the time of service. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the Hokah United Methodist Church or Mount Hope Cemetery, Hokah. Jandt-Fredrickson Funeral Home, Caledonia, is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be sent at www.jandtfredrickson.com.