Living History: Shirley Welker

MUSCATINE, Iowa–Born and raised in Muscatine, Shirley Welker has always loved the town she calls home. From the time she started elementary school to the time she graduated high school, Welker attended Muscatine Community School District classes.

In 1950, after she had graduated from high school and completed her education, Welker married her husband, Robert Welker. Together, the couple had three daughters, all of whom they raised in Muscatine and attended Muscatine’s schools. For more than 20 years, Welker worked for the Heinz Company in Muscatine. Though balancing work and raising her family kept her busy, Welker enjoyed the challenge of doing her best in both areas and in staying engaged with her family and community.

Both avid bowlers, Welker and her late husband belonged to many different local bowling leagues over the years. Welker also enjoyed traveling, collecting pictures, and doing craft projects. Today, Welker most enjoys spending time with her family and getting to see her adult daughters and their children, her grandchildren.

Through her long life in Muscatine, Welker has gotten to know a lot about the town and finds that she loves every part of it, especially the strong sense of community built by the people who live here and the natural beauty of the Mississippi River and the wooded bluffs that surround it. “I always enjoyed everything in Muscatine, the close community, riverfront, the trees,” she reminisced.

Since moving to Bickford of Muscatine in her retirement, Welker has discovered that the same sense of community she has always treasured in Muscatine also thrives at Bickford. She continues to build friendships with the other residents and welcomes the chance to do so. “It is a friendly town and I enjoy living at Bickford because of the people and the company it provides,” she observed.