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William F. Welch

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William F. Welch Obituary

William F. Welch

95, passed away November 24, 2013, of complications from a stroke. A native Hoosier, Mr. Welch was born in Logansport in 1918. He graduated from Logansport High School in 1936 and from DePauw University, with distinction, in 1940 with a B.A. He was a Rector Scholar and a recipient of the Walker Cup in 1940. During his undergraduate years at DePauw, Mr. Welch was Editor of The DePauw newspaper, Chairman of the Student Executive Committee and President of his fraternity, Delta Tau Delta.

In 1941, he was commissioned in the U.S. Naval Reserve and served during World War II until his discharge in 1946 with rank of Lieutenant Commander. His service included duty aboard the U.S.S. Indianapolis and several staff assignments in the Pacific Theatre. He managed to avoid the bombing of Pearl Harbor by twenty-four hours when the Indianapolis was ordered out of Pearl Harbor to the Johnson Islands, and rotated off her about two years before she was sunk by the Japanese.

He graduated from the University of Michigan Law School in 1948 with a J.D. degree and commenced his practice in Indianapolis that year, eventually becoming senior partner in the law firm of McHale, Cook & Welch, now known as Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP. His practice focused primarily in the areas of corporate, banking and public utility law. He was a Fellow of the American, Indiana and Indianapolis Bar Foundations, and a member and former President of the Seventh Circuit Bar Association and The Lawyers Club of Indianapolis.

He served as a Trustee of DePauw since his election to the Board in 1979 and was a Life Trustee. He was a former President of the DePauw Alumni Association and a recipient of the University's Old Gold Goblet Award. In 1993, Governor Evan Bayh named him a Sagamore of the Wabash.

Mr. Welch was a former member and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County and a former member and President of the Board of Trustees of Citizens Gas & Coke Utility, now Citizens Energy Group.

Mr. Welch was a former director of the First National Bank of Logansport and of Hoosier Water Company, Inc., and was a director of Southern Indiana Railway, Inc., Chamber of Commerce Building Corporation, and Southern Indiana Commerce Corp. He is a Director Emeritus of Kocolene Oil Corporation of Seymour, Indiana. He was a member and former Director of the Indianapolis Athletic Club, Meridian Hills Country Club, the University Club of Indianapolis, the Skyline Club, and the Hundred Club of Indianapolis, of which he was a director and former President. Beginning in his teenage years, Mr. Welch spent many days at one of his favorite places on Earth, Lake Maxinkuckee in Culver, Indiana. He was a member of the Lake Maxinkuckee Yacht Club and the Maxinkuckee Country Club.

He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Jean Knauss Welch; son, Brian (Sue) Welch; and daughter, Sarah (Mac) McNaught. Mr. Welch is the proud grandfather of Mary McNaught (Ryan) Yonkman, Bill Welch, Julia Welch, John McNaught, and great-grandchild Nora Eloise Yonkman.

The family would like to thank the staff of The Stratford, Priority Physicians, and especially Dr. Shelagh Fraser and Dr. Jonathan Schmidt for their care and concern.

Calling will be held on Friday, November 29, 2013, from 3:00 to 6:00 pm at Meridian Street United Methodist Church, 5500 North Meridian Street. Services will be private with burial on Saturday in Mount Hope Cemetery in Logansport, Indiana. Arrangements are being made through Leppert Mortuary, Nora Chapel . http://www.leppertmortuary.com

In lieu of flowers, please make memorial contributions to Meridian Street United Methodist Church, 5500 North Meridian Street, Indianapolis, IN 46208 or to DePauw University, Alumni Office, 411 East Seminary Street, Greencastle, IN 46135.

Published in the The Indianapolis Star on Nov. 27, 2013
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