Harold Merrill Welch

Harold Merrill Welch
Jan. 25, 1924 - Jan. 26, 2013
A Resident of Santa Cruz
Harold M. Welch was born on January 25, 1924, and passed into eternal rest on January 26, 2013, the day following his 89th birthday, due to emphysema.
Per his wishes, he passed away at home, surrounded by his loving family and memories.
Harold was a native son of Santa Cruz. His parents were the late John E. Welch and the late Ortie Ethel Twitchell. He was brother to Don Welch and preceded in death by his siblings Gwennie Ross, Bernice Kusanovich and Clarence Twitchell.
Harold loved many things: designing and making his own furniture, fishing, the outdoors, handing down family traditions, music and sports. Above all, he was happiest working in his home garden, sporting his trademark hat! Priscilla Toshikian made him the happiest man alive in 1946 when they were married.
He grew up in Aptos and was a volunteer firefighter. He worked for Cardiff Pest Control, built bridges and retaining walls for the County of Santa Cruz and was a ranch hand for Bertha Ross' ranch.
He attended Valencia Elementary. In 8th grade, he was such a good student, he made an agreement with the teacher that once his work was done, he could leave class and go fishing! Due to tough economic times, he dropped out of school to help support his family.
Harold was drafted during World War II into Patton's Army. He spent 3 years fighting and earned a Bronze Star during his tour for installing 36 miles of telephone communication wire in 36 hours and then supported the other crew with their jobs. He also fought at the Battle of the Bulge.
For 25 years, Harold was an active firefighter for the Santa Cruz Fire Department, Westside. He retired in 1979. Then he embarked on a second career as Security for the Davenport Cement Plant. He loved talking with people and patrolling the outdoor property for over 26 years.
Harold is survived by his lifelong love, his wife of 66 years, Priscilla; his adored children and their spouses, Stephen (Diane), Raymond (Naomi) and Lydia; his cherished grandchildren and their partners, Terri Welch (Brad Morgan), Lori Welch Bettencourt (Joseph Bettencourt), Tony Davis, Christina Welch and Kendall Welch; and his pride and joy four great-grandchildren, Tyler Davis, Tosha Davis, Brooke Bettencourt and Jillian Bettencourt. He is also survived by numerous family and friends across the country.
He loved life and wanted to be remembered as a family man. The grandchildren and great grandchildren fondly referred to him as "Boompa".
Harold asked to have no service, but rather a family gathering at a later date. He will be interned at The Santa Cruz Memorial Park.
In lieu of flowers, Harold requested donations be made to the Genealogy Society of Santa Cruz and / or Hospice of Santa Cruz. If you would like to send your condolences to Harold's family, share your memories, view or post photos or light a candle please visit www.scmemorial.com
To honor his memory, the family would like to ask you to plant a seed, share a cup of coffee, a piece of peach pie or "have a catch" with a loved one.
Orange Cup
Orange cup of coffee brew
Brave soldier, fireman, through and through
An anchor, family, oh so true
Orange cup of coffee brew
Cabinets made from wood and glue
Plans made and then he drew
Envy garden garlic grew
Orange cup of coffee brew
Never words more spoken true
That family, love, forever new
Body, soul, and spirit too
Of the man who drank the
Orange cup of coffee brew
January 26, 2013


Published in Santa Cruz Sentinel on Feb. 3, 2013