David Lee Welker, 79: Marine, musician and scholar

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YARMOUTH — David Lee Welker, 79, of Yarmouth, died Aug. 31 in Portland.

He was born June 6, 1934, in Cape Girardeau, Mo., to Paul Lee Alexander Welker and Edith Fern Ricketts. He lived most of his childhood in Jackson, Tenn. He married Marian Risk in 1956, and they resided in the Washington, D.C., area with their children.

Welker attended Kentucky State College and received his bachelor’s from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. In 1954, he joined the United States Marine Corps, where he played bass clarinet, clarinet and saxophone in The President’s Own United States Marine Band for 32 years. Welker retired in 1987, with the rank of master gunnery sergeant, having played under eight presidential administrations, beginning with President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

After retirement, he received two bachelor’s degrees, one from the University of Maryland in political science, and the second from the University of Maine in public administration. In his retirement, Welker and his wife resided in Waldoboro, where he taught music, enjoyed his gardening and served as director of Round Top Center for the Arts in Damariscotta.

He is survived by his wife, Marian, of 57 years; his brother, James; his children, David Samuel, Matthew, Eric, Hope Ellen and Beth; eight grandchildren; two great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews, all of whom he loved dearly.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Doctors Without Borders at www.doctorswithoutborders.org.

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