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2    WHEREAS, It is highly fitting that the Illinois General
3Assembly pays honor and respect to those who have made a
4difference in their community and the State of Illinois; and
5    WHEREAS, Don Welge of Chester passed away on April 16,
62020; and
7    WHEREAS, Don Welge was born to William H. and Rudelle F.
8(Fritze) Welge in St. Louis, Missouri on July 11, 1935; he
9married Mary Alice Childers at St. John Lutheran Church in
10Chester on August 4, 1962; he served in the U.S. Army; and
11    WHEREAS, Don Welge and his family created the Gilster-Mary
12Lee Corporation, one of the largest independent food
13processing companies in the United States, establishing food
14processing plants on both sides of the Mississippi River and
15providing hundreds of good jobs in production, warehousing,
16and delivery truck driving; and
17    WHEREAS, Don Welge served as an adviser for the School of
18Business at Southern Illinois University of Carbondale and
19Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau; he was
20also an active Louisiana State University alumnus with the
21School of Agriculture; and



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1    WHEREAS, Don Welge established a reputation as a supporter
2of economic development, serving as a member of the chambers
3of commerce in Chester and Steeleville, both in Illinois, and
4Perryville, Missouri; he was also a director for the Buena
5Vista National Bank; and
6    WHEREAS, Don Welge was a member of St. John Lutheran
7Church in Chester; he passionately supported the Boy Scouts
8for more than 40 years and previously served as council
9president; he served as master of ceremonies for the Fourth of
10July celebration held on Kaskaskia Island for many years; and
11    WHEREAS, Don Welge was preceded in death by his parents;
12his brother, Bruce Welge; and his brother-in-law, Wib Saak;
14    WHEREAS, At the time of his passing, Don Welge was
15survived by his wife, Mary Alice Welge; his sons, Robert
16(Paige) Welge and Thomas (Tracy) Welge; his brother, Mike
17(Betty) Welge; his sister-in-law, Julia Saak; his
18grandchildren, Austin Welge, Lauren Welge, Jackson Welge, and
19William Welge; and his many nieces, nephews, cousins, and
20friends; and
21    WHEREAS, Don Welge worked hard to gain support for the



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1building of a new bridge over the Mississippi River to connect
2Illinois and Missouri; and
3    WHEREAS, The Chester Bridge has two 11-foot lanes and
4carries 7,000 vehicles per day, connecting the cities of
5Chester, Illinois and Perryville, Missouri across the
6Mississippi River along Illinois Route 150 and Missouri Route
751; and
8    WHEREAS, Plans are underway by the Illinois Department of
9Transportation and the Missouri Department of Transportation
10to replace the Chester Bridge; and
11    WHEREAS, Randolph County of Illinois, the Community
12Foundation of Randolph County, Perry County of Missouri, and
13the City of Perryville, Missouri have adopted resolutions
14supporting naming the new Chester Bridge in honor of Don
15Welge; therefore, be it
18SENATE CONCURRING HEREIN, that we designate the new Chester
19Bridge over the Mississippi River along Illinois Route 150 and
20Missouri Route 51 as the "Don Welge Memorial Bridge"; and be it



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1    RESOLVED, That the Illinois Department of Transportation
2is requested to erect at suitable locations, consistent with
3State and federal regulations, appropriate plaques or signs
4giving notice of the name the "Don Welge Memorial Bridge"; and
5be it further
6    RESOLVED, That suitable copies of this resolution be
7presented to the family of Don Welge, Randolph County of
8Illinois, the Community Foundation of Randolph County, Perry
9County of Missouri, the City of Perryville, Missouri, the
10Secretary of the Illinois Department of Transportation, and
11the Secretary of the Missouri Department of Transportation.