NEWS | Oct. 27, 2017

World War II veteran and former Colorado adjutant general receives full military honors

By Lt. Col. Elena O'Bryan Colorado National Guard

CENTENNIAL, Colo. – World War II veteran and former adjutant general of Colorado retired U.S. Army Maj. Gen. William D. "Dave" Weller was interred Oct. 22 with full military honors at Olinger Crown Hill Mortuary and Cemetery in Denver.

Weller served as adjutant general and executive director of military affairs from 1974-1979 under former Colorado Governors John D. Vanderhoof and Richard D. Lamm.

Weller, 98, passed away Oct. 16 in Denver. Before his death, he was the oldest-living former adjutant general of Colorado. He was laid to rest beside his wife of 73 years, Virginia.

Weller enlisted as a private in the Colorado Army National Guard in Durango, Dec. 2, 1940. His unit, Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 168th Field Artillery (155mm) (Motorized) Battalion, was activated for federal service Feb. 24, 1941, prior to the United States’ entry into World War II.

The U.S. Army commissioned Weller at Officer Candidate School, Fort Sill, Okla., Aug. 4, 1942, and assigned him to the Field Artillery Replacement Training Center there.

During World War II, Weller deployed to the European Theater of Operations as commanding officer for Battery B and later HHB of the U.S. Army’s 862nd Field Artillery Battalion (105). He led his battery, part of the 63rd Infantry Division, from France across Germany during 120 days of continuous combat. They crossed the Saar River, the Siegfried Line, the Rhine River, and reached Landsberg, Germany, where combat ended for the division and his battery, near the border with Austria.

As adjutant general of Colorado, Weller led the Colorado National Guard response to the Big Thompson Flood which claimed the lives of 144 Coloradans during August 1976. Weller’s employment of COARNG helicopters to help Larimer County responders evacuate people trapped in the canyon reduced the potential for further casualties during the worst natural disaster in Colorado history. For his actions, Weller received the Legion of Merit Medal.

Weller was promoted to major general Jan. 26, 1977.

"We have the privilege of paying our respects to a great American and Warrior who served our communities, state and nation for nearly four decades," said U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Michael Loh, the adjutant general of Colorado.

"Major General Weller lived the Army values his entire life. He was a humble, brave, servant-hearted leader who cared deeply for the troops he led and the State of Colorado," CONG Full-time Support Chaplain U.S. Army Maj. David Nagel said.

Weller was a registered professional engineer in Colorado. Over the course of 30 years, he worked as an engineer in Montrose, district representative in Durango, and general superintendent charged with all operations of the Western Colorado Power Company from his office in Montrose.

After retiring from the military, Weller continued to serve the community in many ways as an active member in a number of civic organizations both on the Western Slope and in the Denver area. He had a long-term interest in community affairs. He was also an avid collector of minerals and an expert faceter and worker in stone jewelry materials.

Weller is survived by his daughter, Joan Turnell, and his sons Dave, Jim, and Ron Weller, as well as six grandchildren and six great grandchildren.

Several former governors of Colorado, and a significant number of other general officers, former adjutants general, congressional delegates, and state senators and representatives are attended.