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EUGENE J. WELTE DIES AT 97; RETIRED GENERAL IN ARMY RESERVE

Eugene J. Welte, 97, of Williamsville, retired insurance agent and retired brigadier general in the Army Reserve, died Saturday (Aug. 22, 1998) in Oakwood Manor after a short illness.

After graduating from Masten Park High School, he joined Troop E of the 101st Cavalry in the Army National Guard in Buffalo. In high school, he had been an outstanding athlete, lettering in baseball and track. He also was an excellent horseback rider and was good enough to play polo at the Esskay Farms.

He was called to active duty with the 102nd Anti-Aircraft Battalion when the United States entered World War II and was assigned to Darwin, Australia, where he was to meet and become a friend of General Douglas MacArthur. By that time, he was a colonel.

Welte later saw combat duty at Papua, New Guinea. He served as commanding officer of the 209th AAA Group during the Korean Conflict.

During his more than 35 years of active and reserve duty with the Army, he was awarded the Legion of Merit; the Unit Achievement Award-Allied Command, Australian Army; the Conspicuous Service Cross; the New York State 35-year Service Medal; the Pacific Theater of Operations Medal with three Battle Stars, and the American Defense Ribbon.

He retired from the Army Reserve as a brigadier general in 1959.

Welte sold property and casualty insurance for American Hardware Mutual for 32 years, retiring in the mid 1970s. He was an active member of Calvary Episcopal Church in Williamsville and a former vestryman and warden of the church. He was also a hunter and sportsman.

His wife, the former Gladys Knight, died in 1982.

Survivors include a son, Richard Knight Welte of Clarence and three grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Calvary Episcopal Church, 20 Milton St., Williamsville.[hdkns]

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