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Richard Welling

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WELLING, Richard Richard Welling, 83, died Thursday, (November 5, 2009) at Hughes Health and Rehabilitation, West Hartford. He was born August 21, 1926 in Hartford, the son of William and Muriel Welling. He was a grandson of James Clarke Welling, educator and president of Columbian College (now part of George Washington University) and one of the founders of the National Geographic Society and a great-grandson of U.S. Senator James Dixon of Connecticut. He was predeceased by his brother William Welling and his son Richard Dixon Welling. He is survived by his former wife Irene Stoll; daughters, Debrah (Jack Intrator), Wendy (Horst Gerjets), and Lisa (David Riss); daughter-in-law Maria Welling; grandchildren Erik and Daniel Gerjets, Skye, Remy and Graham Riss, and Richard D. Welling; great-granddaughters Megan and Grace Gerjets; sister-in-law Harriet Ford, nieces Caroline Van Deusen and Elizabeth Regan, and nephews James Welling and William Welling and their families. Richard graduated from Hall High School in 1944 and briefly attended the Yale School of Art before enlisting in the Army. After serving in World War II in Europe, he studied at the Parsons School of Design in New York, graduating in 1949. He began his career first as a commercial artist and later as a fine artist. He chronicled the cityscape of Hartford in intricate line drawings that became his signature style. He also loved New York City and drew its skyline. A major project was drawing stages of construction of the twin towers at the World Trade Center. After the tragedy of September 11, 2001, Richard donated a number of these drawings to the New-York Historical Society. Recently, one was included in the exhibition "Drawn by New York, Six Centuries of Watercolors and Drawings at the New-York Historical Society." Richard published numerous collections of his drawings and wrote and illustrated two books on drawing techniques. He was a unique individual and lived his life fully and happily. He had many dear friends and loved Christmas and the spirit it engendered. He celebrated the holiday throughout the year and, with his long hair and white beard, could be mistaken for St. Nick. He loved puns and word play, science fiction and especially the steam locomotive era. On his 80th birthday in recognition of his life and accomplishments, Governor Jodi Rell proclaimed August 21, 2006 as Richard Welling Day. His family and friends will miss him terribly and will always remember him with love and admiration. Richard established an award in his son's name at Yale University, the Richard Dixon Welling Prize. In lieu of flowers, gifts in memory of Richard may be made to the Richard Welling Scholarship Fund at the Yale School of Art. Please make checks out to Yale University, noting that the gift is in memory of Richard Welling, and send your check to: Yale School of Art, c/o Jane Phillips, P. O. Box 2038, New Haven, CT 06521-2038. Visiting hours will be Friday, November 13, 5-8 p.m. at the Dillon-Baxter Funeral Home, 1276 Berlin Turnpike, Wethersfield. Funeral service will be held Saturday, November 14, at 11 a.m. at Dillon-Baxter, followed by burial with military honors in Cedar Hill Cemetery, 453 Fairfield Avenue, Hartford. All are invited to attend. To share a memory with the family, please visit www.dillonbaxter.com.

Published in The Hartford Courant on Nov. 11, 2009
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