Donald Joseph Welp


Donald Joseph Welp, age 88, of Loveland, Colorado, peacefully answered God’s call to come home on February 25, 2023 at Good Samaritan Loveland Village.

Don was born on March 29, 1934 in Bancroft, Iowa to Joseph and Bernice (Wilhelmi) Welp. Don grew up in Bancroft and helped out with the family business - Welp’s Hatchery.

According to an interview, Don stated he had worked at the hatchery since he was in the fourth grade. He attended Iowa State University and the University of Iowa, where he met the love of his life, Sarah Jeanne (Everingham) Welp. They were married in Fort Madison, Iowa on June 11, 1955. Together, they raised five children in Bancroft, Iowa.

Don managed the hatchery, along with his brother James Welp, who managed the feed mill, which was started by their father, Joseph Henry Welp. Don worked at the hatchery as a partner in the Welp organization for more than 35 years. He traveled the world building the export business with such travels taking him throughout Europe, South America, North America, and Asia. He enjoyed summer weekends at their Lake Okoboji home water skiing and spending time with family and neighbors. Don retired in late 1988 and moved to Phoenix, Arizona in the winter, and Estes Park, Colorado in the summer. Estes Park eventually became their permanent residence where they enjoyed drives through RMNP viewing wildlife. In 2015, Don and Sarah moved to the Good Samaritan Loveland Village in Loveland, Colorado due to health related issues.

Surviving are his wife of nearly 68 years, Sarah Welp, their five children: Jeff (Sue)Welp of Anamosa, IA, Kurt (Sandy) Welp of Bancroft, IA, Lisa (Rick) Schmitz of Fort Collins, CO, Jane (Scott) Burton of Westerville, OH, and Sarah (Dave) Keller of Madison Lake, MN, his twelve grand children: Jessica Welp, Melissa Woodyard, Dan Welp, Amy Lenocker, Bryan Welp, Joe Schmitz, Eric Schmitz, Conner Burton, Emily Delgado, Alex Keller, Lucas Keller and Will Keller; sixteen great grandchildren: Sofia Welp, Weston Woodyard, Jaxon Woodyard, Tate Woodyard, Landon Welp, Ella Welp, McCain Welp, Audrey Lenocker, Jack Lenocker, Luke Lenocker, Sara Welp, Liam Welp, Jakston Schmitz, Cooper Schmitz, Beau Burton and Elanor Delgado, and his brother Joseph Welp of Tucson, AZ. He was preceded in death by his parents Joseph and Bernice Welp, James Welp, and Diane (Vernon) Lensing.

Through the church, Don was actively involved in Cursillo, Engagement Encounter, and Marriage Encounter. He was a member of the Kossuth County Hospital Board for several years beginning in 1973 and was a Boy Scout Leader when his sons were younger.

Don enjoyed visiting new places and meeting new friends. Camping and touring the United States and other countries was a passion he and Sarah enjoyed together. He loved playing golf and cherished the friendships he made on the golf course. Off the course, Don developed a passion for wine making and fishing. His favorite “fishing hole” was in Sitka, Alaska with family and close friends. Don was a man of great faith, which he instilled in his children. His family was utmost important, and spending time with his grand-children was a highlight for him. Although, the twinkle in Don’s eyes and stories he told will be missed, he will live on in our memories to come.

A Celebration of Life mass is planned on July 29 at 10:00 am at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Loveland, CO.

Memorials can be made to Pathways Hospice - 305 Carpenter Road, Fort Collins, CO 80526. If writing a check, please include Donald J. Welp on the memo line. In addition, donations can be made online at:

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