|This picture, taken Feb. 18, 1954,
shows the Champagne Musicmaker Lawrence Welk playing a reel-to-reel
tape recording for his sister, Eva. Eva was in the audience
for his shows many times and took part in Ralph Edwards’
“This Is Your Life” television salute to her
The last of Lawrence Welk’s siblings, Eva Welk, 96, of
Aberdeen, S.D., died March 10, 2006.
Eva had lived in Aberdeen since the early 1940s.
Ironically, her death came the day before what would have been
Champagne Musicmaker’s 103rd birthday, which is when the
Heritage, Inc. annual dinner was held.
In addition to making regular visits to see her brothers and
Strasburg, Eva made numerous trips to California to visit Lawrence
Fern Welk and their family.
She appeared on the March 6, 1957, episode of Ralph Edwards’
Your Life" when her famous brother was featured. She also
was in the
audience for several episodes of "The Lawrence Welk Show."
Eva lived with her parents, Ludwig and Christina Welk, on their
southwest of Strasburg, which is now operated as an historic
She was born Christmas Eve, 1909, hence her name, Eva. Everyone
remembered her birthday, but she did not like to give her age.
someone asked how old she was, she would respond, "And
how old are
Devoted to her parents, she attended only a few years of school.
The Welks moved to Strasburg in the 1920s, and their son, Mike
wife, Catherine, took over the farm.
Eva cared for her parents until their deaths. Ludwig died in
Christina in 1940.
She moved to Aberdeen because her brother, John, and his family
nearby. For most of her adult life she made her living by caring
elderly people, going to their homes to cook and clean and to
anything else she could for them. She made an extra effort to
her clients wanted to eat and the way they wanted it. Her services
so popular that she had a waiting list.
Eva was noted for her baking and cooking, and she often cooked
family gatherings. Lawrence especially enjoyed his sister’s
Her hobbies were tatting and crocheting, and her creations
gifts for relatives and friends.
Eva was a humble, quiet person. She did not drive, so she lived
her church, Sacred Heart Catholic Church, and a grocery store.
She enjoyed her apartment. Her brother, Lawrence, once exclaimed
he had never seen an apartment so small. Eva said it had plenty
for everything she needed, which did not include much furniture.
Eva worked as long as she could before retiring, and even then
would help out elderly people.
Lawrence sent her many things over the years, but she passed
them on to
relatives and friends. She read all of his books but gave them
soon as she finished reading them.
She did keep pictures of her family, including her dozens of
nephews and their descendants. Even in her final 11 years in
home, she kept her photos.
She never married, so her nieces and nephews were like her
their children like her grandchildren.
The passage on her funeral program was appropriate for Eva,
the care-giver: "Divine Master, grant that I may not so
much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as
to understand; to be loved as to love; for it is in giving that
we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it
is in dying that we are born to eternal life." -- St. Francis
|Seven of the eight children of
Ludwig and Christina Welk got together at a family gathering
for this picture. Left to right are Barbara Deringer, Eva
Welk, Agatha Ternes, Lawrence Welk, Anna Mary Mattern, John
Welk and Mike Welk. The eighth family member, Louie Welk,
||Eva Welk sits in her Aberdeen apartment
between a champagne bottle given to her by her famous brother
and a picture of Lawrence Welk from the 1930s.
|Eva loved her tiny apartment in
Aberdeen and never wanted more than she had.
||Eva stands behind her mother, Christina,
at their home in Strasburg. The late Willie Wolf purchased
the house after the deaths of Ludwig and Christina Welk.
After Willie’s death, the house was razed.
Our appreciation is extended to the Emmons County
Record for permission to reprint this article.