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Clarks Hill, SC........Dr. W.A. (Bill) Wellband was born in 1931 growing up during the Great Depression and the drought of the 30’s. He grew up in Regina, Saskatchewan (Canada). By his senior year in high school, Bill was president of the student council and on the varsity teams in football, basketball, swimming, tennis, and track, and was awarded the Governor General’s medal for excellence. Summers were spent on road construction to earn money for a college education. He went to George Williams College in Chicago where he graduated with a BS in Physical Education and then a master’s degree in health education. He was privileged to study under the teaching and supervision of Dr. A.H. Steinhaus, a world-renowned physiologist, and was supported by the Steinhaus scholarship.
He went on to study in the Anatomy Department of the Stritch School of Medicine, supported by an NIH predoctoral fellowship and graduated in 1960 with a Ph.D. in Anatomy. He stayed for one year in a teaching research position and then accepted a position in the Anatomy Department at the Medical College of Georgia.
There he continued teaching gross anatomy and developed a number of research interests. One of these was a study of bone reaction to transplanted tumor growth and was awarded a Damon Runyon cancer grant to continue the study. By combining an enzyme stain and a nerve stain, Bill was able to detect nerve branching with new muscle fiber contact in a muscle sample obtained at autopsy from a patient with Myasthenia Gravis. Another area of interest was muscle physiology and pathology of skeletal muscle, which in turn led him to the study of electrical changes (EMG) in animals. He was sent for training at the Ampersand Research Unit at the Highland View Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio and again at Grady Hospital in Atlanta. He joined the Neurology Department and under the supervision of Dr. Harold Collings, organized and developed the EMG laboratory. He left the Medical College in 1977 to provide a full-time EMG service to the medical community, continuing in this capacity for many decades thereafter.
One of his favorite passions was making homemade strawberry jam. Bill developed a low sugar recipe, when combined with the second crop strawberries from the Gurosik Berry Plantation, made a great tasting jam which gave him much satisfaction to share.
During the 1970’s and several decades after that, Bill purchased, maintained, and enjoyed owning a beach house at Edisto Beach, SC. This was the site of many family gatherings and fond memories. Bill found great joy in discovering many sharks’ teeth for his collection. This led to a growing fossil and rock collection which he enjoyed over the years.
In the 1990’s, Bill and Sue purchased several acres in Clarks Hill, which they cleared and constructed their current residence upon. Sons Marc and Mike, son-in-law Jerry and other friends and contractors all helped make his dream a reality. Thanks to the care received by his daughter Laura and her husband Jerry, as well as his son Mike and his family, he was able to live his remaining days enjoying this beautiful home.
Bill enjoyed traveling, and on several occasions, he and wife Sue cruised in Alaska. However, on 9-11-01, they found themselves temporarily trapped in Alaska due to the temporary airline travel ban.
He enjoyed reading, gardening, making strawberry and blackberry jam (as well as the occasion recipe of chow chow) and listening to hymns, country music and oldies on his boom box while watching the birds at the feeder from his patio window. He and Sue attended Grace Fellowship of Augusta, GA and hosted several church gatherings in their home.
He was preceded in death by his parents, sister, and oldest son Marc Wellband. His wife of 62 years, Sue Wellband, passed away in 2018. He is survived by daughter Laura Steffey, her husband and Bill’s close friend Jerry, his daughter Susan Wellband and his son and primary caregiver, Michael Wellband and his wife Maria. His surviving grandchildren are Jason Wellband (Marc and Laurie Wellband), William Steffey and Joshua Steffey (Laura and Jerry Steffey), and Isaac and Sophia Wellband (Michael and Maria Wellband).
His memorial service will be held at 1:00 PM on Saturday, November 11, 2023 in the Rowland-Ford Funeral Home Chapel with Pastor Jerry Byrd officiating and his son, Mike offering his eulogy. The family will receive friends at the funeral home following the service.