Joseph Joe Andrew Welch, a life-long resident of Jefferson County, died February 8, 2006, following a lengthy illness. He was born in Dayton, Texas September 29, 1921, to John A. and Rosa Hargrave Welch. He attended schools in Sugden and Ryan and is a 1939 graduate of Ryan High School. After graduation, he attended Cameron College and transferred to the University of Oklahoma. In 1942, Joe enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. During World WarII, Joe served on a aircraft carrier in the Pacific and was honorably discharged in 1945.
Throughout his adult life, Joe was a farmer and rancher in Jefferson County. For twenty-eight years he was also employed as a aircraft mechanic at Shepard AFB in Wichita Falls, Texas until his retirement in 1984. Joe was a licensed pilot who enjoyed pleasure flying, traveling, and attending family reunions.
In 1971, Joe married Mary Gilreath. No children were born to this union. Mary preceded Joe in death in 1996. In September 1998, Joe married Helen Richardson Edwards of Waurika, Oklahoma.
Joes parents predeceased him as did his siblings, Lydia Ruth Welch, John Wesley Welch, Nellie Jean Trammel, nephew, Phillip Trammel, and stepson Johnny Edwards. Joe is survived by his wife, Helen; nephew John A. Welch and wife Linda of St. Joseph, Missouri; niece Marcia Hoskinson and husband Clayton of Norman, Oklahoma; four grand nieces, three grand nephews; Brigit and Irie Grnwalt and their son, Cash, and other relatives and friends.
Funeral Services for Mr. Welch were at 1:00 PM, Monday, February 13, 2006, at the First Baptist Church in Waurika with Audie Dorrough and John A. Welch officiating. Burial was in Crestview Memorial Gardens in Wichita Falls, Texas under the direction of Dudley Funeral Home in Waurika.