Bobbye Jo Welch
JACKSONVILLE, IL - Bobbye Jo Welch, 86, peacefully passed away, Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014, at her home in Jacksonville surrounded by her family.
She was born July 28, 1928, in Leflore County, Okla., the only child of Bedford Forrest and Mary Madelyn Thomason Weatherford.
She attended and graduated from Leflore County public schools in 1945. She then entered, and graduated with honors from, Oklahoma College for Women in Chickasha, Okla., in 1949 having majored in Psychology and K-12 Education. Before graduating in May 1949, she was inducted into the National Social Science Honor Society, Pi Gamma Mu, as a lifetime member. She had also been a member and officer of the De Gamma Ve Service Sorority while on campus. Upon graduation, she moved to Jacksonville, Ill., having accepted a third grade teaching position at Lafayette Elementary School under Dr. James Blodgett, School District #117 Superintendent.
In 1951 she met James D. Welch, music instructor at Jacksonville High School, and they were joined in matrimony on April 26, 1952. They were married 49½ years prior to his death in February of 2002.
She is the mother of three children: William Steven Welch of Springfield, Rhea Jo Welch of Jacksonville, who resided with her during her illness, and James Bryan Welch (Jennifer) of Jacksonville. She enjoyed all seven of her grandchildren enormously and they are: James Shannon Welch (Nataly), Susan Victoria Welch, James Alexander Welch, Ethan James Welch, Nolan Daniel Welch, Collin Matthew Welch, and Anna Marie Elizabeth Welch.
Throughout her 37 years as a teacher in School District #117, Mrs. Welch taught at all grade levels. In the 1950s, she worked with Ivan K. Garrison for child-find purposes and also taught educationally mentally handicapped students at both elementary and high school levels.
Always totally supportive of her husband's extreme dedication and commitment to public school music, both in Jacksonville and at the state level in Illinois, she accompanied him in 1968 as a chaperone for the Illinois Music Educators Association's Select High School Band and Chorus as they toured France and its major cities of Dijon, Lyon and Paris and performed concerts. The trip was in recognition of the earliest known exploration of the area of the United States by French explorers that would become the State of Illinois in 1818 and to share music with France during our sesquicentennial year.
In 1975, when PL 94-142 became effective, Mrs. Welch obtained all Illinois State certifications through MacMurray College necessary to work with students in the areas of Learning Disabilities and Emotional Disturbance. In 1980, she received her Master's Degree in Human Development Counseling from the University of Illinois-Springfield. She retired in 1995, having ended her years of dedication to her field at Turner Junior High School in the area of learning disabilities.
Mrs. Welch was a member of Trinity Episcopal Church in Jacksonville, having served faithfully for many years on the Altar Guild. She was an honorary member of History Class Literary Society, a long-time member of the Art Association of Jacksonville, the VFW Post Ladies Auxiliary, and the Jacksonville Symphony Society. She immensely enjoyed playing the piano every day until her illness prevented her from doing so. She was an ardent supporter of her children's careers and stayed current with world events.
A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014, at Trinity Episcopal Church in Jacksonville. The family will receive friends at the church following the services. Private family committal services will be held later at the Winchester City Cemetery in Scott County.
Memorial gifts are suggested to: the Ivan K. Garrison Alternative School for Emotionally Disturbed Students or Trinity Episcopal Church, both of Jacksonville.
The Buchanan & Cody Funeral Home in Jacksonville is in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be sent to the family online at www.buchanancody.
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