Mr. Gary Rollins Welling, 75, died peacefully on Jan. 15, 2013, due to respiratory failure.
Gary was born Jan. 1, 1938, in Jacksonville, but lived 65 years in the Babson Park/Lake Wales area. Gary went to Lake Wales High School and was in the Army National Guard, 1956-1962.
He worked at the Copper Top, Highlander and KFC restaurants and with the remodeling of the Grand Hotel in Lake Wales.
Gary loved the area and was often seen walking around Lake Wales, going to football games, talking Lake Wales history and attending city council meetings. He was a regular attender at First Christian Church in Babson Park from 1994-2004. Gary suffered through the hurricanes of 2004, only to be hit by a car on Dec. 19, 2004, which left him severely injured. After that he spent the rest of his life at Valencia Hills Health & Rehab in Lakeland where he received excellent care.
Gary is survived by his sister, Carolyn Welling Faiks and brother-in-law, Buzz Faiks, of Babson Park; aunts Dickie Carefoot of Lakeland, and Jewel Moreland of Ponte Verde Beach, and numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews in Florida, Colorado, Virginia, Massachusetts, Wyoming and South Carolina.
Memorial Services will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013, at 5 p.m. at the Babson Park Community Church with Dr. Joe Mattox officiating.
Inurnment will be made at a later date on the Welling family lot at Lake Wales Cemetery.
Memorials of remembrance may be made to Babson Park Community Church P.O. Box 131, Babson Park, Fla. 33827.
Johnson Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.