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Stewart Welch

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Stewart Welch Obituary
Stewart Welch


Stewart William Welch, 84, died on March 12, 2012, in Jackson, MS. Funeral services will be 11:00am Friday March 16, 2012 at Wright and Ferguson Funeral Home on Highland Colony Parkway in Ridgeland preceded by visitation at 9:00am.

He was an only child born on March 8, 1928 to Ernest Robert and Matilda Allen Welch in Davenport, Oklahoma. He grew up in Oklahoma, Texas and Missouri. He graduated from Herculaneum High School in Missouri and went directly into the U. S. Army AST Program. After that he was assigned to the Occupation Army in Japan. After being honorably discharged, he enrolled in Oklahoma A. & M. and graduated with a degree in geology. He went to work for the U. S Geological Survey, Fuels Branch in Lexington, Kentucky where he met and married Jane Collier. They worked together for the Survey in Lexington, Washington, D. C. and Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Their two sons were born there. Stewart decided to try the petroleum sector and went to work for Shell Oil Company in Jackson, Mississippi. After several years he and friend, Fleming Browning, stepped out on their own to form Browning & Welch, an independent oil and gas exploration company. They worked together for 45 years enjoying lean or flush, boom or bust times. Stewart truly loved geology. Nothing suited him more than doing actual field work; going out taking elevations and measuring strata sections then contouring it all on a map to find an oil or natural gas trap. Well sitting was not a chore for him; he was the "eternal optimist". He always told Jane when leaving for a well that it was running high and looking good. His area of expertise was the Black Warrior Basin of Alabama and Mississippi.

Stewart enjoyed vegetable gardening and sharing his bounty with friends and neighbors. Bird watching was another hobby. He kept the bird feeders in his back yard filled and fought the squirrels a good battle. He kept a Life List, identifying well over 100 birds. When traveling, the bird books and binoculars went into the suitcase first.

Stewart and Jane enjoyed traveling. They were fortunate enough to have visited Scotland, England, Ireland, France, Greece, Switzerland, China, Japan, the Caribbean Islands and many places in the U. S. He enjoyed going to their lake house on Lake St. John in Louisiana. He always said that he could sit on the patio, look at the lake and feel his pores open in stress relief. He especially enjoyed having all his family there on holidays.

Stewart belonged to Fondren Presbyterian Church, American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Mississippi Geological Society (elected Honorary Member) and was a Certified Petroleum Geologist. He contributed time to both societies. He was a Lifetime Alum of Oklahoma State University. He was a fan of many sports, following the Atlanta Braves, New Orleans Saints and Oklahoma State basketball among

many other teams.

Stewart loved his boys. He took them on nature walks to learn about the out-doors. He was a Minor League and Little League coach for both boys. It always pleased him to run into former players who remembered their good times together. He leaves to mourn him his beloved wife of 59 years, Jane; son and wife Charlie and Andrea of Durham, N.C, and their daughter Alena of New York City; son and wife John and Betsy of Brandon and their sons and daughter-in-law Thomas and Lauren of Seoul, South Korea, Duncan of Brandon and Matt of Brandon; father-in-law and his wife Mr. And Mrs. Carl T. Evans of Roxie.

His family is small. He cherished his grandchildren. He was so proud of them and was always so amazed

that he and Jane had raised such a wonderful family. Any memorials may be made to Fondren Presbyterian Church, 3220 Old Canton Rd., Jackson, MS 39216 or to the Mississippi Geological Society Scholarship Fund.217 W. Capitol St., Jackson, MS 39201.


Published in Clarion Ledger from Mar. 14 to Mar. 16, 2012
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