Kenneth E. Welke Jr.
November 05, 1955 - February 25, 2017
Take care of orphans and widows who are suffering...
Kenneth (“Ken”) E Welke, Jr., passed away on the same day his father, Kenneth E Welke, Sr., died… February 25th, 2017.
He is survived by his life-long best friend, Julie Kay Welke, his partner and wife for 34 years.
As well as his beloved mother, Frances Welke, and his sister, Teresa “Teri” Johnson.
And many nieces and nephews.
Ken was born at the Ballard Hospital on November 7, 1955. Julie says he was a very tiny baby, and I guess Fran can confirm that.
Ken was born a go-getter. He was the Peewee Golf Champ of Seattle at the age of 5.
He graduated from Shoreline High School in 1974, and according to Julie, he was very upset when his school was made into a Senior Center.
From there, he went north to Alaska, where he worked hard loading and preparing the fishing fleet for sea, but was rewarded with eating fresh salmon six days a week, and on the seventh day, steak.
In 1980, on October 10th, in fact, Ken met Julie. She was working for the City of Edmonds, and Ken was working for a cable TV company in Edmonds next door, and became known as “Ken Cable Macho Man” in Julie’s workplace.
Ken proposed to Julie on his birthday, November 7th, 1981. They were married on April 10th, 1982, in Edmonds, at the Methodist Church, and honeymooned at Disneyland.
Ken was a quick study. He worked at Egghead Software and was promoted quickly because he caught on to computers as a natural. When Egghead relocated from Seattle to Issaquah, he started his own computer Desktop Publishing business out of their home.
He was truly an entrepreneur, and excellent at sales. He worked as an outside salesman for Interstate Batteries where he broke sales records for the company. Then he took on a distributorship with Interstate Batteries in Moses Lake with wife Julie. When Julie’s mother became ill, they moved back to the Seattle area, where Ken started another entrepreneurial venture called Welcome Communications.
Ken loved anything with a steering wheel, and he was fastidious in how he cared for all his vehicles, whether cars, trucks or motorcycles.
One day, after Ken bought a Jeep Wrangler for Julie, she told him she was too short to get in and out of it. So to make it easier for Julie and Fran to get in and out of that Jeep, he invented Grab Bars—“GraBars”—and of course, the rest is history.
In 2006, Ken went on a trip to Africa with some Christian Relief Fund missionaries, with Milton Jones in the lead. Julie says that when he returned, Ken came back a “changed” man. He knew this would be his mission in life. His big dream was to build a high school in Kisumu Africa.
Ken loved his Prison Ministry. He started visiting the prison in 2008. He never did anything half-way. He was there in season and out of season because he loved talking about Christ, and he loved his “gated community.”
We all can attest to Ken’s love for God, and the greatest love story ever told. The verse that Julie always heard him saying was “take care of orphans and widows who are suffering.”
It became his motto. It was his life.
The memorial service for Ken Welke will be Saturday, March 11 at 1:00 pm at the Northwest Church, 19820 Scriber Lake Road, in Lynnwood. Ken died on Saturday February 25. Please join us in celebrating the life of this faithful and visionary man of God. Ken made an impact in his business, in his prison ministry and in the lives of hundreds of orphans at the Ring Road School in Kisumu, Kenya. Our deepest sympathy is extended to his wife Julie and to his mother Fran. Milton Jones, president of the Christian Relief Fund, will be coming to conduct the Ken's memorial service.
It was always one of Ken's visionary dreams to build a high school in Kisumu to continue the education of the children that he loved so much at the Ring Road School. Julie has requested that memorial contributions in Ken's name be given to a special fund set up with the Northwest Church to make that dream a reality. You may give online by clicking on the link below. In the drop-down menu, select Ken Welke Memorial Fund.