Welker, Dixie Rose


Dixie Rose Welker, 75, of Springboro, a retired local pastor, passed away Saturday, March 30, 2019, at home, surrounded by her loving family. Dixie was born in Fremont, Ohio, on October 7, 1943, the daughter of the late Cyrus and Helen (Merryfield) Berkheimer.

Dixie graduated from Linesville High School in 1961. Upon graduation, she worked in Washington, D.C. as a court stenographer. Dixie moved back to the Conneautville area in 1968, where she worked in numerous secretarial positions, while also raising seven children. Dixie accepted Christ into her life in 1982, and began preparing for a life in ministry. She served as pastor for the Hickernell, Franklin Center, and Norrisville communities. Dixie discovered her deepest passion for ministry while working as the pastor at Cambridge Springs Women's Prison. Throughout her life and career, Dixie touched the lives of many people with her positive outlook on life even as her health deteriorated. Anyone who ever crossed Dixie's path considered themselves truly blessed.

In addition to her passion for serving the Lord, Dixie loved her family immensely. Dixie married the love of her life, Gary Welker on June 4, 1970, as they joined their two beautiful families. Dixie enjoyed evenings of dancing with her loving husband. She also loved cross-stitching, crocheting, and painting ceramics, most of which are now in the home of family and friends. She also enjoyed gardening, cooking, reading, spoiling her dogs, and spending time with her family. 

Dixie is survived by her husband of 49 years, Gary Welker, and her children, Jon Welker (April), Robert Welker (Lisa), Joseph Welker (Nicole), Craig Welker (Jennifer), Joni Tharpe (Tim), Jill Dettro, and Richard Welker (Jennifer). She is also survived by her brother, Roy Berkheimer (Betty), 17 grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. 

Dixie was preceded in death by her sisters, Betty Appell and Jane Jones. 

The family would like to thank the Meadville Medical Staff, the Home Health Care Nurses, Hospice of Crawford County and the Wound Clinic ladies for all the care and comfort you gave Dixie. In Dixie's words, "You were all so precious!"

Visitation was at  the McCauley Funeral Home in Conneautville, Pa, and and Valley United Methodist Church, Conneautville, before a celebration of life service on Saturday, April 6.  Memorial contributions may be made to Prison Ministries, payable to Marcella Capitosti, 57 King Hill Rd., Indiana, PA 15701, or to Hospice of Crawford County, 766 Liberty St., Meadville, PA 16335.