Dr. William "Bill" R. Welke, professor emeritus of accountancy at Western Michigan University, died Friday, Nov. 16 in Shawnee, Kan. He was 79.
Welke joined the WMU faculty in 1967 and retired in 1998 after 31 years of service to the University. He served as chair of the Department of Accountancy from 1979 to 1990 and led or served on several important Universitywide committees. His scholarly work appeared in numerous professional publications.
The former Certified Public Account was faculty advisor for WMU's chapter of Beta Alpha Psi, the national honorary organization for accounting students, and was named national president of the organization in 1988. After 50 years in Kalamazoo, he moved to Shawnee in 2011 to be near his only grandchild.
An expert in the areas of management, economics, and the dairy and food industries, Welke served for 10 years as a consultant for Crowe, Chizek & Co. in South Bend, Ind., and for three years as a staff accountant for Touche Ross & Co. in Seattle.
He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1952 to 1956 and began his career in education as a mathematics teacher. From 1962 to 1967, he also was an assistant professor at the University of Washington in Seattle.
Welke earned bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Wisconsin in 1958, 1959 and 1962, respectively.
Services and remembrances
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, in the First United Methodist Church, 212 S. Park St., in Kalamazoo.
Memorial gifts may be made to the American Heart Association at donate.americanheart.org; the First United Methodist Church Music Department, 212 S. Park St., Kalamazoo, MI 49007; or the American Indian College Fund at collegefund.org/content/donate.
Visit mlive.com to make a memorial guestbook entry.