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1928 Paul 2019

Paul J. Welliver

March 22, 1928 — March 20, 2019

Paul J. Welliver, 90, of Lexington, Nebraska, passed away Wednesday, March 20, 2019 at Bryan West Medical Center in Lincoln. Paul was born March 22, 1928 at his Grandfather Regouby’s farm house NE of Lexington. Paul was the 4th of eight children born to Pauline L. Regouby and Frank Welliver. Paul grew up working for his Dad farming and moving houses and for his Uncle Max Welliver growing and hauling hay and potatoes. Paul’s family lived several places in the area finally settling on South Cedar St in Lexington. Paul attended Lexington High School.   Paul enlisted in the Marines in Omaha on August 04,1946, reaching the rank of Private 1st Class. Upon his Honorable discharge from the Marines Paul enlisted into the Marine Reserves to take advantage of flying lessons and education opportunities. Unfortunately, the Korean War started and Paul was called back into active service and shipped to Korea with his Marine unit at the bottom of a naval ship. Paul was severely wounded in battle while in Korea and spent several months recuperating in military hospitals in Japan and San Diego. Paul was always a proud Marine (Semper Fi!) being awarded the Purple Heart for disabling wounds he learned to live with the rest of his life. His continued patriotism inspired two of his grandsons Gary Thomalla and Sam Wahls to become Marines. Following his discharge from the Marines in San Francisco, September 11, 1951, Paul returned to Lexington to his wife and two kids at the time. Paul was united in marriage to Verlie Mae Cannon on December 27, 1948 and were married for 66 years until Mom’s passing July 28, 2015. The marriage was blessed with seven children: Dennis, Paula, Douglas, Peggy, Robin, Rhonda, and Darren. Paul and Verlie lived in a couple small houses before building their own house on west Cedar St just down the street from his Dad’s house. Following his Marine discharge Paul went to work for the Lexington Police department reaching the rank of Sergeant, even serving as Police Chief for a short time. Due to his growing family Paul built houses part time with his Uncle Max to make ends meet finally resigning from the police department and building houses full time, becoming state certified as a plumber, electrician, carpenter, building the entire house around Lexington and Johnson Lake areas. This evolved into general construction with Fred Hampton, and his own company putting in sewer and water systems state wide. Paul’s company put up the light poles along 283 from Oak St to I80. His expertise and experience lead to his partnership with Paul Latcher (of North Platte UP fame) and the burying of telephone cable over the entire Western half of Nebraska for the next twenty years. There wasn’t anything that Paul couldn’t figure out and build. Paul was an avid hunter of big game and Nebraska game birds and an avid angler. The Welliver family spent most years eating fish and wild game year around. Paul always had a large garden sharing his produce with everyone (7 kids to pull weeds). Paul and Verlie grew hybrid irises (they learned from Lee Norell), passing out bulbs city wide. With a cousin, Paul enjoyed tracing the Welliver genealogy dating back to the 1100s in Eastern Germany. Paul loved collecting coins and stamps.   Paul loved to cook and come Thanksgiving and Christmas Paul and Verlie always needed a bigger house as scores of family members were always there. In his later years Paul was one of the leaders of the local Ducks Unlimited, Pheasants Forever and Plum Creek Water Fowlers and very involved with Heartland Military Museum. He was an Eagles Club member since 1959, VFW, American Legion, D.A.V., The Purple Heart Association and the Elks club. Paul grew up in the St. Ann’s Catholic Church being baptized as a baby and going through catechism as a youth, but strayed away from going to church because of the family moving and living in the country. Due to the continual prayers of Verlie, he finally started attending the Evangelical Free Church with her, accepted Christ as his personal Savior and continued to attend until his death. Survivors include his children Dennis (Kathleen) Welliver of Rockwall, Texas, Paula (Barry) Pfister of Lexington, Douglas (Chris) Welliver of Pleasanton, Nebraska, Peggy (Kerry) Walker of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Robin (Fred) Heinrich of Slate Hill, New York, Rhonda Wahls of Loomis, Nebraska and Darren Welliver of Hildreth, Nebraska. Fifteen grandchildren: Gary, Justin, and Ryan Thomalla, Ted and Lauren Pfister, Jamie Kezeor and Abbie Lamphere, Ashleigh Walker, Morgan, Madison and Max Heinrich, Levi Titus, Sam, Ike and Caitlyn Wahls. Seventeen great-grandchildren: Haley, Thatcher, Claire and Cooper Thomalla, Zoey, Jett, and Jovi Thomalla, Ashtyn, Kaden and Kinsley Pfister, Finley and Willow Gates, Grace, Evelyn and John Lamphere, Mckenna and Cannon Titus. Sisters, Donna Owens of Green, Kansas, Dorothy Feddersen of Lexington and Brother LeRoy Welliver of Manhattan, Kansas. As well as dozens of nieces and nephews. Paul was preceded in death by his Wife Verlie; two sisters, Betty and Marie Welliver; two brothers, Edwin and Norman Welliver; brothers-in-law, Galen Owens and Raymond Feddersen; son-in-law Gary Thomalla, and great granddaughter, Lilly May Gates. A Memorial service will be held Monday, March 25, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. at the Evangelical Free Church in Lexington with Pastor Duane Russell, officiating. Visitation will be held Sunday, March 24, 2019 from 2-4 p.m. at Reynolds-Love Funeral Home in Lexington. Interment with Military honors will be in the Greenwood Cemetery at Lexington at 9:30 a.m. prior to the memorial service. Memorials are suggested to the Evangelical Free Church or the donor’s choice Reynolds-Love Funeral Home in Lexington is honored to assisting the family with arrangements. Please share online condolences with the family by visiting: reynoldslovefuneralhome.com
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