John Loren Weltmer, 68, died suddenly Feb. 1, 2022, at his home in Lawrence. A celebration of his life will be at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 8, at Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home.
Weltmer was born Dec. 5, 1953, in Beloit, Kan., and raised in Mankato, Kan., where he graduated from Mankato High School in 1971. He married Patricia McGrew in 1984 and had one daughter. The couple later divorced.
Survivors include his daughter Anne Kealing, and husband Jonathan, as well as grandchildren William and Emily, all of Minneapolis, Minn., and sister Pat Korb and husband Barry, of Salina, and their children, Jason Korb and wife Erin, and their children, Kevin Korb and wife Crissy, and their children, and Heidi McDonald and husband Kevin, and their children, and sister Carrie Mayhew and husband Brad, of Lawrence, and their children Amanda Kleinschmidt and husband Tom, and son Ansel, and Lauren Mayhew, Rebecca Mayhew, Melissa Mayhew, Caroline Mayhew and Thomas Mayhew as well as numerous cousins, and grand nieces and nephews.
A fourth-generation Jayhawk, he attended the University of Kansas where he was a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity. He graduated from the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communication in 1975, and was a life member of the Kansas Alumni Association. He prided himself on never missing a KU football or basketball game on TV, watching recordings if something prevented him from watching the game live.
Weltmer worked for the Kansas Athletics Department as the sports information director for KU’s first director of women’s athletics, Marion Washington, working especially closely with the KU women’s basketball team. He produced the first sports information directory for women’s sports, for which he later won an award. He later worked for various companies including Lawrence Paper Company and United Health Group before retiring.
He was an avid cyclist and regularly rode the Lawrence Loop trail in warm weather and logged many miles on his exercise bike in colder months. He also enjoyed volunteering as an election judge during every election cycle. He particularly enjoyed the voters he would see time after time. He spent many holidays delivering meals to Lawrencians in need and volunteered to serve meals at the First United Method Church. He also volunteered for the Kansas Relays.
In recent years, Weltmer especially enjoyed doting on his grandchildren and spending time with his grandpuppy, Annie.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Roderick and Alice Weltmer, and great aunt Dorothea “Dodo” White, and niece Sarah Michelle Mayhew.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to Lawrence Humane Society in care of Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home, PO Box 1260, Lawrence, KS 66044.