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James Welch

James Welch LUBBOCK-James Dwayne Jimmy Welch, formerly of Lubbock, died in Santa Fe, N.M., on Nov. 23 of complications from throat cancer. He passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by his loving family and friends. Born Feb. 20, 1936, in Shawnee, Okla., to the Rev. Jack A. and Annie Welch, Jimmy grew up in Lubbock, and left an indelible legacy of athletic and academic accomplishments at Lubbock High School. He may be best remembered as the bruising fullback for state championship football teams of 1951 and 1952. Many of the records that he held lasted for decades. He was awarded all-district, all-state honors, and was nominated as a Parade All-American. He was co-captain of the Westerners team in 1953, when he also served as senior class president. Jimmy was a gifted musician and had a fine tenor voice. He sang often at Central Baptist Church, which was cofounded by his father, and proudly sang for the Texas All State Choir from 1952-54. While recruited heavily by colleges across the nation for football, he also received scholarship offers for voice and academics. He chose to stay close to home and attended the University of Texas, where his accomplishments were numerous. He was co-captain of the freshman football team, and a three-year UT football letterman. He was delighted to play in the 1958 Sugar Bowl as a member of coach Darrell Royal's first Longhorn team. He was also a member of the Texas Cowboys, a UT honorary service organization. Jimmy was very proud to be a member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity at Texas, and maintained lifelong friendships with his fraternity brothers. He continued to sing, joining the RoundUp Musical Review and even cut a record with his singing group, the Phi Gam Quartet. After a distinguished career in the steel industry in Ohio, Jimmy retired to Santa Fe, N.M., where he enjoyed the nearness of family and the presence of his grandchildren. He continued to sing, joining one of his sons as a member of the Santa Fe Mens Camerata. Jimmy is survived by Shirley Marion Welch, his high school sweetheart and wife of 55 years; daughter, Sheila Welch Fordyce; twin sons, Jeff and Jack Welch; grandchildren, Adam, Bryan, Austin and Kate Welch; brothers, Wendell and Gene Welch; and numerous friends and relatives. Jimmy was blessed with incredible talents in many areas and he had the strength of character to purposefully develop his gifts. He gave all that he had, in everything that he did, leaving a profound example to follow. At his request, there has been no funeral service. Cremation has occurred, and at his direction his ashes are to be scattered with loved ones in a special place. Friends wishing to make a memorial donation are encouraged to either select a worthy , or to support the Santa Fe Mens Camerata choral group (P.O. Box 894, Santa Fe, NM, 87504).

Published in The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal from Dec. 8 to Dec. 9, 2012
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