Don Welke, 75, who was currently residing in San Diego, CA died after a long struggle with Diabetes. He died Wednesday, September 19, at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, CA.
Welke is survived by two daughters, Angela Easter (Sean) and Andrea Welke; a son, Andrew Welke and four grandchildren; Cole and Addie Easter, Talia and Ethan Welke, and a brother, Terry (Connie Rice).
He was known to friends and those in the industry as “Coach”. A native of Harvard, IL (who was quick to tell unsuspecting folks, with a smile, that he had a Harvard education). Welke graduated from Carthage College, Kenosha, Wisconsin, playing baseball and basketball after which he pursued a graduate degree from Eastern Michigan University. While at EMU he served as a graduate assistant with the baseball team. Thereafter, he had a nine-year run as the head baseball and basketball coach at Concordia College in Ann Arbor, MI while also serving as Assistant Dean of Men.
Welke, who began scouting for major league baseball with the Cincinnati Reds in 1965, worked in the league for more than 50 years. Throughout his long career in MLB, he worked for the following teams: San Diego Padres, Texas Rangers, Philadelphia Phillies, Los Angeles Dodgers, Baltimore Orioles, Toronto Blue Jays, Kansas City Royals, and the 2000 Team USA Olympic gold medal-winning baseball team.
Throughout his baseball career he has received many awards highlights are; Harvard High School and Carthage College Hall of Fame, Midwest Scout of the Year, and the Legends of Scouting Award.
Funeral services will be held at Trinity Lutheran Church, 504 E. Diggins St., Harvard, IL, on Friday, October 5. Visitation will be from 10:00 am – Noon. The funeral will begin at Noon and will be followed by burial at Mt. Auburn Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) sponsored by Major League Baseball. It is a program designed to promote the game of baseball to teenage boys and girls in disadvantaged areas. (https://www.mlb.com/mlb-community/reviving-baseball-inner-cities).
Family and friends may sign the online guest book at www.saundersmcfarlin.net.
For more information call Saunders & McFarlin Funeral Home at 815-943-5400.