1934 ~ 2020
John Francis Welsh died on March 15, 2020 in Salt Lake City, Utah. John was born on August 5, 1934 to Dr. Thomas F. and Helen (Reid) Welsh in Salt Lake City. He was the grandson of three-term Park City Mayor John F. and Theresa Agnes (Foley) Welsh, one of the early Irish founders of Park City. The Welsh's and their extended and interrelated families of other Irish pioneers helped establish many of the West's mining towns. John loved his family, faith and being unabashedly Irish. He loved singing, the Running Utes and any and all electronic gadgets. He was the last surviving member of the extended family who worked at the legendary Welsh, Driscoll & Buck mercantile in Park City.
John graduated from Judge Memorial High School in 1952. He attended the University of Utah, until being drafted into the U.S. Army in 1956. While stationed at Fort Devens in Massachusetts, he met and fell in love with Mary Imelda Sullivan and married her in Lowell, Massachusetts on July 5, 1958. After the birth of their first child, they returned to Salt Lake City, where he was employed by Sperry Univac. John and Mary were early parishioners of St. Ambrose Parish and he was proud all of his children graduated from both Cosgriff Elementary and Judge. Through the years, John devoted many thousands of hours volunteering in many capacities throughout the Salt Lake Valley. In addition to coaching boys' baseball for over 50 years, he also coached basketball, football and girls softball. In his love for all things Irish, John was one of the founders of the Hibernian Society of Utah and the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Salt Lake City. He helped build many youth sports facilities, including St. Ann's baseball complex, Judge Memorial football stadium and many other locales throughout the city. For many years he was the voice of Bulldog football and to the delight of all, turkey bingo. He was a 4th degree Knight of Columbus and was active for many years. After retirement he eagerly served as a member of the DAV honor guard at fellow veteran's funerals.
John is survived by his wife of sixty-one years, Mary, and ten children Karen Gygi (Scott) of Pleasant Grove, UT, Jayne Surbeck (Kelly) of Monterey, CA, TJ (Susan) Welsh of Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, Mary Kate (John) Tikotsky of Los Angeles, CA, Jennifer (Bruce) Pittenger of Monterey, CA, Thomas Welsh (Kristal) of Salt Lake, Meghan (Jaret) Gibson of Salt Lake, John Welsh (Cheryl) of Allenstown, NH, Joe Welsh of Salt Lake, and Patrick Welsh (Marie) of Salt Lake, eighteen grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. He is also survived by four nephews and two nieces (Lytle family), and cousins Gay Gallivan McDonough of Salt Lake and Donald Bambenek of Gig Harbor, WA.
He is preceded in death by his parents, his brother (Thomas Francis Welsh, Jr), sister and brother-in-law (Helen Frances Welsh Lytle and William Hamilton Lytle), his sister (Mary Barbara Welsh), and an infant son. He was also recently preceded in death by his beloved cousin, Margaret "Margie" Hearley May.
A mass and celebration of his life will be held at a later date and published via social networking and Starks Funeral Home website. He will be buried in the family plot at Mount Calvary Cemetery in Salt Lake City.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests a gift in memory of John to the Hibernian Society (www.irishinutah.org
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