Long Pine — Gary Wynn Welke, 72, of Long Pine, died Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021.

Funeral services were held Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2021 at Zion Lutheran Church in Ainsworth.

Burial was in the Grandview Cemetery in Long Pine.

Memorials may be made to the family for future designation.

Holmes Funeral Home of Valentine was in charge of the arrangements.

Gary was born in Ainsworth on Oct. 22, 1949 to Gene and Dorothy Welke. Joining him at birth was twin brother Jerry Lynn Welke. Gary grew up in Ainsworth and graduated from Ainsworth High School. He attended college in Kansas City for air traffic control. 

He then went on to marry his high school sweetheart Sandra Wheeler on April 19, 1969. Gary and Sandra then went on to live on Buffalo Flats north of Long Pine. To this union three children were born Michael, Coby and Jennifer.

For several years, Gary and Sandra owned and operated Welke Family Automotive. He performed auto repair and Sandra performed auto detailing and a travel business until the year of 2005. They then began a new chapter, taking over a rural contract mail route and continuing to farm and raise cattle on Buffalo Flats.

Gary not only enjoyed working, but also loved doing puzzles, fishing, boating, spending time with his family and friends, playing cards, listening to music, dancing and attending all of his grandchildren’s events.

Gary is survived by his high school sweetheart of 52 years Sandra Welke; two sons Michael Welke (significant other Viviane) of Virginia Beach, VA and Coby (Amanda) Welke of O’Neill; one daughter Jennifer (Justin) Nickless of Ainsworth; four siblings Bev (Chuck) Whitney of Johnstown, Jerry (Carol) Welke of Hastings, Randy (Jeannie) Welke of Johnstown and Billy Welke of Ainsworth; seven grandchildren Allison, Hunter, Makenna, Kiersten, Tatum, Jacob and Grady; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents Gene and Dorothy Welke, in-laws Don and Doris Wheeler, infant son Colby Lynn Welke and best friend Rodger Adams.

Online condolences may be left for the family at www.HolmesFH.com.

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