Memorial ServiceFirst Baptist Church of Somerville
Somerville,, Texas 77879
Robert Howard (Bob) Welker, P.E. Retired, 93, passed away in Sugar Land, Texas on September 13, 2020. Bob was born in Honey Grove, Texas to Harold and Flora Welker. He was the founder of Welker Engineering Company, (known today as Welker, Inc.) and holder of 39 US Patents. With a gift for leadership Bob left his mark on his church, the Oil & Gas measurement industry, and on the lives of his family and hundreds of friends, colleagues, and employees.
Bob was preceded in death by his loving wife of 60 years Shirley Jean Rystrom Welker, his parents, brothers Harold Jr., and Charles, sister Nancy Cusack and daughter Sherell Welker. He is survived by his brother Thomas F. Welker and wife Judy, son Brian Welker and wife Denise of Fulshear, TX; daughter Mendee Stroud of Bluff Dale, TX; grandchildren Josh, Kyle, Ellis, Daniel and Tiffany Welker; Tammy Garner, Todd and Chase Stroud, and Kelly Allbritton; great-grandchildren, Peyton, Ripley, Coltin, Scout, Brody, Nash, Tinsley, Noah, McKenzie, Graham, Hannah, Gage, Aubrey, Knox, Crew, Dakota, and Cannon.
Starting from a very young age, Bob was always busy inventing things. Impressed by a dirigible he saw that flew over his back yard when he was a child, he was determined to be an engineer and work with a God given creative mind. His first invention was a pair of pliers with interchangeable jaws when he was just 19 years old. After growing up and attending 27 different schools, due to his Father’s job with the United States Department of Agriculture and “King” cotton, he graduated from Lubbock High School. He was a veteran, having served in the Navy during World War II. He then attended Texas A&I University where he graduated in 1950 with a degree in Natural Gas Engineering. Bob received his Professional Engineering license in 1956 and was active for 50 years as a P.E. until his retirement in 2007.
In 1951 he married Shirley Jean Rystrom while working with Tennessee Gas Pipeline in Texas. Together Bob and Shirley raised a family, served God faithfully in Church (Bob served as both an Elder and Deacon over the years) and gave birth to a company that impacted the energy industry. During this time, they raised horses and in later years enjoyed living on the Welker Star Ranch in Washington County, Texas.
He began his storied career with Tennessee Gas in 1950 after graduation. In 1954, he founded Welker Engineering Company as he tinkered with a several new ideas. After working 8 years with Tennessee Gas, he developed and patented the Jet Stream Control Valve in 1959. Soon after, he sold the manufacturing rights to TXT Corporation and traveled the world selling and installing his control valve until 1969 when he left TXT. At that point Bob devoted his full attention to Welker Engineering Company. During this time, he successfully invented and patented many other improvements for the Oil and Gas Industry and continued selling them around the world as he built up the brand and the company. Bob led the company until 1984 when his son Brian H. Welker took the reins. He remained Chairman until his retirement in 2007, at which time his grandson Josh H. Welker became President and Brian became Chairman. Bob was Chairman Emeritus of the company he gave so much to until his passing.
In addition to leading his company while inventing and patenting solutions, Bob was actively involved in industry Schools and received many accolades. He enjoyed being around students and the opportunity to teach. He participated and taught at the International School of Hydrocarbon Measurement (ISHM) for 50 years and was honored with the prestigious Laurence Reid Award in 1993 and the Distinguished Service Committeeman Award in 2007. A founding member of The American School of Gas Measurement Technology (ASGMT), Bob was awarded the Recognition of Exemplary Service Award in 2001. He was an active participant in the Appalachian Gas Measurement Short Course (AGMSC) for many years as well. In 2018, Bob was recognized by Texas A&M Kingsville (formerly Texas A&I University) with the Distinguished Alumni Award and the Javelina Engineering Hall of Fame Award.
Bob left his mark in the industry he served as well as the churches he attended and supported with leadership over the years. On Sunday morning, September 13, 2020 Bob was taken into Glory, having run the race set before him, by the Grace and Mercy of Jesus Christ, his Lord and Savior.
Honorary pallbearers are grandsons Josh, Kyle, Ellis, Daniel Welker, and Todd and Chase Stroud. Pastors Bob Craig, David Fish, and Corby Brizendine officiating. A celebration memorial service will be held on October 2, 2020 at 3:00 PM at the First Baptist Church of Somerville, Texas. Memorials may be directed to the First Baptist Church of Somerville Mission Fund.
Funeral arrangements for Robert Howard Welker are entrusted to Memorial Oaks Chapel.
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