Carl John Weller Jr., born July 18, 1924 to a coal mining family in the hills of Pennsylvania, learned the hardships of poverty at an early age. He worked tirelessly his whole life to help his family change their condition. At the age of 18, while living in Detroit, he joined the Air Force and survived 33 bombing missions as a B-17 waist gunner. On what was to be his last mission, his plane was shot down over France. At the point of a gun he was captured by the Germans, who declared “for you the war is over”. He survived eight months as a prisoner of war and the ensuing death march across Europe. This is where Carl’s training in hardship as a child helped him survive the harsh realities as prisoner. His innate sense of humor and will to survive became a beacon for his fellow soldiers, helping them along the way. Most of his life Carl never spoke of his wartime experience. But, in 2014, with the assistance of family friend, Jeff Duncan, he wrote his memories of being a POW. This book aptly titled, “For You the War is Over”, was a gift to us all, documenting yet another page of up close and personal stories of WWII. His story is also recorded in the national archives in Washington,DC. It is fair to say that his wartime experiences shaped his life .. for some it would be an end. For him it was a beginning. As a teenager I asked: why are you always whistling, so happy and never depressed? He simply said “I survived WWII and am happy every day to be alive”. Having seen so many die bolstered his will to have a great life right up to the end, when he died of heart failure, on June 3, 2020, at the age of 96. On a Sunday drive in 1968, Carl and his wife Iris discovered and fell in love with a dilapidated old flour mill (Schyler Mill) in Saline, MI. They bought this old mill on a wing and a prayer. They worked their day jobs, and at night they worked on their dreams, laboring till the wee hours of the morning. Now known as Wellers, it became their heart and soul. In a small corner of this old mill they lived for 36 years, where everyone was welcome, friendships were born, meals shared, stories told and songs were sung. It was hard work, but they realized the American Dream they longed for. Carl was a one-of-a-kind gentleman, singer & story teller, with an ear to hear your troubles and a word to help you along. He lifted you up with a twinkle in his eye, a kind word, and I can still hear him whistling and singing old standards in the mill today. In the humble way he lived he will be remembered. We will miss him so much. Carl is survived by daughter Wendy Weller, granddaughter Andreea Saitis, grandson Jeff Weller, wife Tina, great grandsons Ethan and Brady Weller, brother Richard Weller & family. Most of his friends have moved on now, but he fondly remembered all of them. He is preceded in death by his loving wife Iris (Mickey) of 65 years, his son James and daughter Judy. There will be a Memorial Service Saturday July 25, 2020 @ 10:00 AM at Wellers, 555 W. Michigan Ave, Saline, MI 48176. If you are able and so inclined donations may be made in his memory to Veterans of Foreign Wars or any veteran organization of your choice.
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Any Veterans Organization of your choice