John R. Welnack Sr. (Jack) passed away peacefully on February 28th, 2021 the day after his 91st birthday in Richardson, Texas.
Jack was born during the great depression in Detroit, Michigan to Joseph and Velma Welnack on February 27th, 1930. As their 5th child he enjoyed being the "baby" of the family until his younger brother and sister arrived in the midst of World War II.
On May 6th, 1946, Jack went to a local Army recruiting office claiming it was his 18th birthday and enlisted in the Army at the age of 16. Jack served his country during three wars. He was very proud of his service and greatly loved his country. He served in the Pacific Theatre with the 6th Infantry Division, 20th Infantry regiment and was among the first troops to occupy Japan. He was honorably discharged at age 18 with the WWII Victory medal and the Occupation of Japan Medal. After returning to Michigan post WWII, he re-entered the service in 1948 with the Army Air Corp, transferred into the US Air Force in 1949 and served 20 more years before retiring from active duty in 1969. While in the Air Force he served in Korea during the Korean War. He was stationed in Bermuda during the Cuban missile crisis and concluded his career with 3 years at a Tactical Fighter Wing base in Germany.
While stationed at Selfridge Field in Detroit, Michigan he met and courted the love of his life, Lydia Marie Kershaw. They married in June 1950 and for 63 years until her passing in 2013 traveled the world together and raised 4 loving children.
Jack honed his law enforcement and investigative skills while serving in the Air Force. After his retirement from the military, he joined the campus police force at Southern Methodist University and later enjoyed a successful career as a damage estimator with Sewel Village Cadillac. He liked tinkering with cars, supplemented his income while in the service buying, refurbishing and reselling automobiles. After retiring from the workforce at the age of 55 he and Marie began active pursuit of their passion for travel. They spent time traveling North America in their RV and making new acquaintances wherever they went.
Jack was a simple but compassionate man with a strong sense of service. While it was one of his proudest accomplishments to serve his country his love for and commitment to family was paramount. He enjoyed traveling, meeting new people and experiencing all that the world had to offer. He loved playing with his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. He was an overgrown child at heart with a strong sense of whimsy and loved being the center of attention. For him, life was to be enjoyed and he made it his goal to bring a smile to the faces of those people who surrounded him.
He was preceded in death by his parents, 3 brothers, 3 sisters and his wife, Marie. He is survived by his son and daughter in law John and Mary Welnack, daughter Wendy Welnack, son and daughter in law Brian and Cat Welnack, daughter Theresa Smith. Six grandchildren, John Justin Welnack, Weston Welnack, Daniel Mostrom and wife Iris, Joshua Mostrom, Tiffany Smith and Shane Smith. Two great grandchildren Zoe Welnack and Ryder Mostrom.
A Celebration of Life service will be held on April 27th at Charles W. Smith Funeral home in Sachse at 10:00 AM followed by inurnment with full military honors at Dallas Ft. Worth National Cemetery.
Services entrusted to Charles W. Smith & Sons of Sachse, Texas.