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John F. Welter

Obituary for John F. Welter

July 1, 1930 - March 23, 2020
Clemson, South Carolina | Age 89


John Finlay Welter, age 89, of Clemson, SC, went to his new Heavenly Home on Monday, March 23, 2020. He was a beloved Husband, Father, Grandfather, Great Grandfather, and Friend to all he met.

John was born on July 1, 1930 in Greenville, SC to the late Edward Lawrence and Jesse Finlay Welter. He was also preceded in death by two brothers, Lawrence Welter of Walhalla, SC and Wallace Welter of Greenville, SC. He grew up on a farm off Roper Mountain Road and graduated from Laurel Creek High School in 1947. He then attended Clemson University and was in the ROTC. Immediately after graduating from Clemson he served as a Second Lt. in the Korean War for two years.

John returned to Clemson in 1961 with his family, to manage the Poultry Science Farm and to obtain his Masters in Poultry Science. He continued to work at Clemson University as an Extension and 4-H agent for the Poultry Science Department until his retirement in 1988.

God gave John two wonderful wives to share his life with. His first wife, Helen Franks, of Greenville, SC passed away in 1973. His wife, Molly White Ratchford, of Clemson, passed away in 2001. He also leaves behind a special friend, Mary Dean Spencer, of Clemson, SC.

John is survived by 7 children: Steven Welter (Brenda) of Central, SC, Lynn Schmid (Larry) of Travelers Rest, SC, Karen Lanham(Bill) of Clemson, SC, Johnsie Theising (Tom) of Alvin, Texas, Hank Welter (Simons) of Brevard, NC, Chris Ratchford (Mary Galen) of Demorest, GA, and Mary Fran Crosswell (Hal) of Greenville, SC; 15 grandchildren (6 grandchildren spouses); and 10 great grandchildren.

John loved God, his family, the Clemson family, and his friends all over the world. He was immersed in the Clemson Community, belonging to First Baptist Church of Clemson for 62 years and serving for the last 19 years as a Lifetime Deacon. Through the church, he also coordinated Mission Trips to Honduras in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity and Salt and Light Ministries for 21 years. John left a legacy with his children and grandchildren of volunteering, serving and helping those in need. Locally, through the years, he was involved with the Lions Club, PTA, Habitat for Humanity, as well as many other Clemson service groups.

John was given the Lions Club International Award, SCACAA Award, Oconee County Poultry Producer Association Award, Boy Scouts of America Oconee District Committee Service Award, the Patriot Hospice Military Award, and was featured in the "Barns, Barbeques, and Bales of Cotton" book.

John was affectionately known as the "Chicken Man" because not only was he a Poultry Specialist professionally, he was known for his barbeque chicken and pork throughout the state. He loved providing small and large gatherings with a wonderful meal and time of fellowship.

John will be remembered for his quick wit, laid back personality, hospitality in his home, sense of adventure, and love for others more than himself. He enjoyed outside activities, traveling, and was always willing to try something new.

As a Father and Grandfather his family is so grateful for his unwavering love for us and his example of always putting our family before ourselves. His love of God and desire to bring glory to Him was evident in his daily life.

The Welter family would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the Creekside Cottages at Clemson Downs for the amazing care they gave our father over the last year. We would also like to thank the Cottingham Hospice House in Seneca for the extraordinary graciousness they showed our father and our family while caring for him during this past week.

We are in extraordinary times in our country and as our Dad would always want to protect others, we will plan a memorial celebration of life service in the future, as able, and we thank everyone for their condolences.

In lieu of flowers please do something kind for someone and be kind to yourself. This is what John would want.

Donations in John's Memory can be made to: Pickens County Habitat for Humanity, 309 East Cedar Rock Street, Pickens, SC 29671; First Baptist Church of Clemson, Missions Scholarship Fund, 397 College Avenue Clemson, SC 29631; or to the charity of one's choice.

Visit or Duckett-Robinson Funeral Home & Cremations, Central-Clemson Commons.

A Memorial Service for John Welter will be held at First Baptist Clemson for the family on Saturday, August 29 at 1:30 PM. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, all others may view the service on the church website as it will be live streamed. You may access the link to the website for the service here

Following the service, the family will receive friends at Abernathy Park in Clemson. Please wear a mask if you attend.

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Suggested Memorial Donations

  • Pickens County Habitat for Humanity
    390 East Cedar Rock Street
    Pickens, SC 29671
  • First Baptist Church of Clemson Missions Scholarship Fund
    397 College Avenue
    Clemson, SC 29631

Arrangements By

Duckett-Robinson Funeral Home & Crematory

108 Cross Creek Road
Central, SC 29630
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