Bill Welker, 73, formerly of North Canton, passed away on December 26, 2019, in Tarpon Springs, Florida from Waldenström's macroglobulinemia (WM), a cancer caused by exposure to Agent Orange in the Vietnam War. Bill was born in Canton on July 8, 1946, to Wayne and Eva Welker, and was a 1964 graduate of Canton South High School. Bill worked as a meat cutter for many years and owned his own business. In 1987, he started his own lawn care company and retired in 2011. He was preceded in death by his parents and his father-in-law, Steve Bozeka. Left to cherish his memory are Stephanie, his loving wife of 38 years; Aaron, his son, who was his pride and joy; and Marley, his beautiful daughter-in- law. He is also survived by his brother, Bob (Pat); mother-in-law, Helen Bozeka; brother-in-law, Steve (Sandy) Bozeka; and many other family members who he admired. Bill also leaves behind many friends in North Canton, on Catawba Island, and in Tarpon Springs. Every spring, he looked forward to launching his boat and spending time “at the lake” where he would fish for walleye and perch. As a hobby, he enjoyed making fishing lures that he could use and sell to his charter captain buddies. He also enjoyed cooking on the grill, and having loved ones over for dinner. Following retirement, Bill and Steph decided to chase the sun and spend their winters in Tarpon Springs. Bill was always willing to help others. He was outgoing and loved talking with people under the carport. He had such a wonderful sense of humor and a booming personality. Once you met him, you felt like he had been your friend for years. Bill wanted to encourage all Vietnam Veterans to be tested for WM and Agent Orange exposure. The family is hopeful to help in finding a cure for WM and all forms of cancer. In lieu of flowers, Bill wanted donations made to the Coventry Band Parents Association for the Bill Welker Memorial Fund. Donations may be mailed to PO Box 19205, Akron, Ohio 44319. He became a band parent in 1998 and that continued throughout his entire life. Bill wanted to help provide the gift of musical instruments and quality music education to Aaron’s students. Once a band dad, always a band dad! Calling hours will be held this Thursday (1/2/2020) from 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. and Friday (1/3/2020) from 10 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. at the Rossi Family Funeral Home, 730 30th St, Canton, Ohio, 44709. The funeral service will be held Friday morning at 11 a.m. in the funeral home, with Pastor Joel Soza presiding. Internment will follow the service at Forest Hill Cemetery.
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