He was born Oct. 4, 1931, in Kennett, to Joseph Clarence and Berniece Oakes Welman.
William was a graduate of Kennett High School and received his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Missouri, Columbia, and served in the U.S. Army. He joined the law firm of McHaney and McHaney in 1958, practiced law for 47 years in Kennett and retired in 2005 from the firm of Welman, Hively and Godley. After retiring, he moved to Springfield, to be closer to family. He was a member of First United Methodist Church in Kennett, a founding board member of the Kennett Education Foundation serving 10 years and served on the Kennett School Board.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, the former Alice Jane Spencer, who died Sept. 3, 1998. They were married Dec. 23, 1955 , and celebrated over 47 years of marriage prior to her death.
He is survived by two daughters, Cynthia Ann (Dr. Richard) Cunningham of Springfield, and Lisa Spencer (M. Craig) Hart, of Carthage, Mo.; a brother, Joseph C., Jr. (Martha) Welman, of Columbia, Mo., and five grandchildren, Elizabeth (Scott) Wente; Spencer (Donna) Cunningham, all of Springfield, Caroline Cunningham, a student at Tulane Medical School, New Orleans, La., Matthew Hart, a student at Missouri State University, Springfield, and Lauren Hart, of Carthage, Mo.
Graveside services will be held at 3 p.m., Friday, Jan. 25, in the Oak Ridge Cemetery at Kennett with the Rev. Trevor Dancer officiating under the direction of McDaniel Funeral Service in Kennett. A reception following the service will be held at Sissy's, (on the square), in Kennett.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Kennett Education Foundation c/o Don Collins, Kennett Education Foundation, P.O. Box 609, Kennett, MO. 63857.
Online condolences may be made at mcdanielfuneralservice.com.