David Lee Welker

June 6, 1934August 31, 2013

Yarmouth – David Lee Welker, 79, of Yarmouth, died Saturday, August 31, 2013 in Portland, Maine.

He was born on June 6, 1934, in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, to Paul Lee Alexander Welker and Edith Fern Ricketts. He lived most of his childhood in Jackson, Tennessee. He married Marian Risk in 1956, and they resided in the Washington, D.C. area with their children.

He attended Kentucky State College and received his Bachelor's of Arts from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. In 1954, David joined the United States Marine Corps, where he played bass clarinet, clarinet, and saxophone in "The President's Own" United States Marine Band for 32 years.

David retired in 1987 with the rank of Master Gunnery Sergeant, having played under eight presidential administrations, beginning with President Dwight D. Eisenhower. After retirement, David received two Bachelor of Science degrees, one from the University of Maryland, in Political Science, and the second from the University of Maine, in Public Administration. In his retirement, David and Marian resided in Waldoboro, Maine, where David taught music, enjoyed his gardening, and served as Director of Round Top Center of the Arts, in Damariscotta.

David is survived by Marian, his wife of 57 years; his brother James; his children: David Samuel, Matthew (Max), Eric, Hope Ellen, and Beth; 8 grandchildren; 2 great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews, all of whom he loved dearly.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to "Doctors Without Borders", Please visit to view a video collage of David’s life and to share condolences, memories and tributes with his family.

**There will be a Gathering to Give Tribute to and Celebrate the Life of David Lee Welker on Saturday, November 9, 2013 from 1 to 4 pm at the Round Top Farm ~ Farmhouse Gallery, located at 3 Round Top Lane in Damariscotta, Maine


  • Celebration of Life Saturday, November 9, 2013

David Lee Welker

have a memory or condolence to add?


receive updates when new memories are posted


October 30, 2013

I am so sorry Marian.As you know,we have worked well together over the years.David inspired me to do a lot of things.My sadness to the entire family.Sincerely,Clinton Collamore,Waldoboro

September 29, 2013

Marian and Family,
David was a jewel in the Marine Band. He was an outstanding musician and a joy on the long bus rides during the national tours. Dave and I would carpool occasionally when I lived in Silver Spring Maryland during the late 1960's. He was always a great source for advice and counsel. My thoughts and prayers go out to you. Captain John R Zimmerman

September 17, 2013

Dear Marian: We did not know David was ill, didn't know you had moved, last spoke to him at River Grille when he was eating alone and getting take-home for you. We appreciate all he did for the musioc at Round Top, and especially letting us make suggestions for some of the performers. We miss the concerts and we miss the Welkers. We are very sorry for your loss
David & Sylvia Bailey, Newcastle

Bob & Gwen Schollard

September 16, 2013

To Marian and family, Please accept our condolences for your recent loss. Over the years we looked forward to seeing David's beautiful flower garden and attend many of his musical presentations at the Round Top Center. His dedication to the promotion of music provided many evenings of enjoyment to residents of Maine's Mid-Coast. Thank you David for your leadership in the arts and for your service to our Country. RIP.

Robert Cassel

September 14, 2013

I didn't know David was ill. Thanks to Ike Evans' emails to keep me posted. Our best to Marian and family and our thoughts and prayers are with you all! Bob and Barbara Cassel

steve Loew

September 13, 2013

I appreciated David's leadership as section commander of the clarinet section of the Marine Band and his talent as a bass clarinetist. Both Robin and I wish you strength and fond memories.
Steve Loew- Asheville NC

John Gatcombe

September 8, 2013

I was pleased to have known David and Marian in his last few years in Waldoboro. He made a gift of a clarinet to my granddaughter who lives in NC. He found that this was the instrument that she wished to play and I think it would please him to know she has done extremely well with his gift. I am sorry for the difficult times that he and Marian had to endure. He is fondly remembered by my wife and me.

Joni Gatcombe

September 8, 2013

I truly appreciate all the pictures of the history of David. I met him at dinner at Bullwinkle's Restaurant in Waldoboro Maine. I would purchase bananas and make him banana bread with walnuts. He ate every morsel and said it was his favorite. I am sad that I did not meet him under better circumstances as he had such a full life and was the active parent in his successful children's lives. He had such a cute way about him. He tried so hard to do all that was needed for he and Marian to live. It was a good time in my life to have shared a few precious moments with him as difficult times and dealings brought changes in his life. I believe he is in a better place. Rest well dear man. I am grateful for your life. I have your name engraved in my heart. Thank God for your life and military career. Love and hugs to all those who knew and loved him.

Max Welker

September 7, 2013

David Lee truly was a Man for All Seasons...a great thinker with carefully considered positions on politics and world affairs (he once considered a career in the Foreign Service)...he had soft, gifted hands - not in the mechanical sense - but in the way he could coax beauty out of his clarinet or his garden...he had calluses in all the right places (from the garden hoe on one hand to the clarinet thumb rest on the other)...More than anything, Dad was a giver...he would give you the shirt off his back (even if he had to go out in the middle of the night to buy it)...It is all these attributes, amongst many others, that we will miss most...but take comfort, all ye who knew the man,,,his legacy lives on in his children, and their children, and all the people we have touched - forever and forever...

Jennifer, Sean, Alexandria, and Olivia Burrows

September 7, 2013

For Marian, and all of David's family,
Please accept our deepest sympathies for your loss. David was a very thoughtful, kind man and we pray the Lord will comfort you with a flood of the very best memories.