SJA’s featured Alumni of the month is Mark Welters, Class of 1969.
I attended SJA in the 1960’s, my experience included ½ hour bus ride to and from school that allowed me to do my reading, Daily Mass, softball & soccer, school dances in the gym, electives in middle school and foreign languages, I took German. The teaching staff was mostly Nuns and one Male teacher, he taught Science which was very interesting. We had a nice library on the second floor and I remember scrubbing our desks and cleaning the blackboards on Fridays.
After graduation from SJA in the 8th grade I attended Oregon City High School. I was grateful for the Catholic, Christian foundation I received to help me deal with the secular public-school education in high school.
One month after graduating from High School in 1973, I joined the US Navy. I received very good training in electronics and was given the rate of Electronics Technician. Served for seven years.
After my Seven-year enlistment in the US Navy, I went to work for Diebold Inc., a company that makes products for Banks. I was hired to install and repair Automatic Teller Machines (ATM). My career progressed on to become the installation supervisor, project manager responsible for the installation of all our products in Oregon and SW Washington. Seven years ago, I was given the opportunity to retire from the company after 33 years of service.
My family is originally from Minnesota. My parents are Ervin & Phyllis Welters, and I am the oldest of 9 siblings. Mom & Dad moved the family, (9 of us kids, the youngest, twins, were just 2 months old) from Minnesota in January of 1967, to Oregon City. We joined the SJA community and three of my siblings and I started school at SJA when we got here. Mom & Dad were very involved in the SJA community for about 25 years before moving to Washington for Dad’s job. Mom & Dad now live in Moses Lake, WA. My siblings are in Milwaukie, OR, Meridian, ID, Moses Lake, WA, Woodburn, OR, Vero Beach, FL, Lake Elsinore, CA, Denver, CO, and Sherwood, OR.
I met my wife Corinne while in the Navy, stationed at Pearl Harbor. She was also in the Navy and stationed there, originally from South Dakota. After completing our service in the Navy, we moved back to Oregon City and joined the SJA community. We have three children, Jennifer, David, and Katherine, all of whom graduated from SJA School, and went on to Graduate from LaSalle HS and Oregon State University. We have four Granddaughters, Maxine & Ella Welters, children of David and his wife Paige, and Sydney & Mackenzie Berry, children of Katherine and her husband Justin.
I have been involved with SJA since moving here in 1967. Other than my seven years in the Navy SJA has been my parish community. Growing up here I was involved as an Altar Server, Youth Group, and Religious Ed in my High School years. Once our children started attending SJA School, my wife and I were very involved in SJA School. I have been very involved in the Knights of Columbus here at SJA since 1981. I am currently serving on the Parish Facilities Committee, Ushers, Live Stream Mass, and general parish project volunteer worker.
If you are attending SJA or would like to attend SJA what I would recommend is cherish and enjoy your time at SJA. You may not realize while you are attending SJA, the value of a good Catholic education. If not while there, later in life you will realize the value as you become a good, active member of your parish.
Mark Welters ‘69