Aug. 30, 1929 ~ Jan. 22, 2021
Long time Meeker resident Jean Welder passed away while residing at the Walbridge Wing in Meeker, Colorado. Jean was born in Sault Ste Marie Michigan to William S. and Ethel M. Price, the middle of five children. She was a member of the Sault High School Choir and performed by invitation at the Atlantic City International Convention and Veterans Hospital in Washington, D.C, for President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Jean earned her B.A. degree from Central Michigan University with a social studies/sociology major and psychology and speech minors. She received a secondary teaching certificate and completed course work for social workers. She began her teaching career in elementary schools and taught elementary and high school students in Michigan, Texas, Louisiana, and in Meeker from 1951 to 1996.
Jean met her husband, Frank Welder, while teaching sixth grade in Corpus Christi, Texas. They married on Dec. 31, 1955, in Sault Ste Marie and resided in Uvalde, Texas until Frank accepted a position in Monroe, Louisiana as head of the geology department and Jean continued teaching in public and private elementary schools.
Jean and Frank, along with their three children, spent a summer in Mexico City where Jean and Frank studied Spanish at the American Cultural Institute. They would return to Mexico many times to hike and explore areas of interest.
In 1964, Frank accepted a position at USGS in Lakewood, Colorado, and Jean returned to graduate school at the University of Colorado and earned her Master’s degree in criminology and psychology. She then pursued graduate studies in health and fitness, a passion she developed from enduring a childhood illness. In 1969 she developed and taught the first yoga classes offered by the City of Lakewood and combining her education, she taught yoga classes in residence at the Jefferson County Youth Center in Golden, Colorado
Jean continued to be an avid student, studying under a number of yoga masters, attending New Games workshops, Tai Chi, Tai Chi for Arthritis, Therapeutic Massage, completed graduate studies in stress management and many additional courses and workshops in health and wellness.
Jean and Frank moved to Meeker, Colorado in 1975 when Frank relocated to continue his USGS studies in the Piceance Basin. Jean continued to teach yoga, tai chi, and stress management classes and also organized and led weekend getaways at their Welder Ranch property into her 80s.
After Frank retired in 1983, Jean and Frank spent a year in Oman where Frank was a hydrogeological consultant for the Sultanate of Oman while Jean organized social gatherings and team teaching with other residents in their compound. They enjoyed many progressive dinners and classes with residents from around the world during the time they were there.
Jean and Frank continued to be very active, hiking and biking in the area, and many Meekerites will remember them taking their daily walks through town. They enjoyed family visits to Texas and Michigan, and Jean would frequently teach weekend yoga and tai chi classes when they traveled. Jean will be remembered for her collection of jokes, adventurous spirit, and unconditional love for those around her.
In February 2019, Jean moved into the Walbridge Wing where she received excellent care from the wonderful staff.
Jean is survived by her daughter Maureen Mabrey, sons Brian and Shawn Welder, grandchildren Keegan, Kalin and Kolin Welder; step-grandchildren Amber and Rick Mabrey II, step-great-grandchildren Georgia, Kennedy, Easton and Cal Mabrey; son-in-law Rick Mabrey; daughter-in-law Nancy Welder; sister Lois Laundy; sister-in-law Sandra Price and many nephews, nieces, and extended family members. She is predeceased by her husband Frank Welder, parents William and Ethel Price, brothers James and Patrick Price, and sister Peggy Osborn, brothers-in-law Rod Osborn, Frank Laundy, brother-in-law Edward Welder and his wife Anne Welder.
Following her wishes, no services are planned. A celebration of Jean’s life will take place at the Welder Ranch when family and friends are able to gather.
Friends and family may make memorial contributions to the Meeker Public Library if they choose.
“Do not stand at my grave and cry. I am not there. I did not die!” Anonymous