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Obituary

Roger William Welker

Roger William Welker, 72, was a man of science and the arts. He was born August 11, 1949, to Ralph Albert and Mary Irene Dzurilla Welker in Elizabeth, New Jersey. They raised their family of four children in Rockville, Maryland, where Roger went to Robert E. Peary High School. He played alto saxophone, grew his beloved Uncle Jim’s prize-winning roses, and wrestled on the varsity team.

Upon graduating from the University of Maryland with a degree in Chemistry, and an avid supporter of the Terrapins, Roger began a distinguished career in the chemical, aerosol, and materials sciences field.

He married his wife Claudia Ostach in 1974 and they began a 47-year adventure together that took them from Maryland to Chicago to San Jose, CA for Roger’s 13-year stint at IBM. Then onto Los Angeles for his work at JPL where he was recognized for his contributions for his work on the Mars Rover.  He also enjoyed singing in the chorus of the Pasadena Opera.  Roger’s adventures continued to a two-year stint in Thailand, then Sonoma County, CA, and NASA in Huntsville, Alabama and finally to the Coast of Oregon where they retired.

During this time, he also wrote and had published his book, Contamination and ESD Control in High Volume Technology.

Roger and Claudia raised two children, Emily and Ian in California, making sure to introduce them to all the wonders of the natural world.  Roger shared his love for and talent in the arts to help his children grow their own; he was the technical director for the Santa Clara Ballet Company’s touring production of the Nutcracker where Emily was a classical ballet dancer, and he taught Ian to play the sax and nurtured his gift for the guitar and music composition.

He died October 10, 2021, in Portland, Oregon surrounded by his family.

He is survived by his wife Claudia, his children Emily Fisher and her husband Kevin and granddaughter Rowan, and his son Ian. Siblings Michael, Danise and David, and their families, and an abundance of in-laws.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the World Wildlife Fund:  wwfus.org

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