John Francis Welsh
1934 - 2020
{ "" }
Share John's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
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 (
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Salt Lake Tribune on Mar. 22, 2020.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by Starks Funeral Parlor
Not sure what to say?
View Printed Guest Book
11 entries
September 19, 2020
I was honored to have met John Welsh on several occasions before his passing. In person he was generous, decent, witty and fiercely proud of his Irish heritage (he wore his green jacket pretty much every time we met). His legacy is a huge testament to him - the St. Patrick's Day parade in Salt Lake City - one of the largest in the West and great organisation in the Hibernians in which he played a formative role.

Ireland is a small island but we see ourselves as a great global tribe of 80 million people spread throughout the world sharing in our history, culture and heritage. 80 million green dots all around this shared planet of ours. John's light shone greener than most and we were fortunate to share in his reflective glow.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.
Robert O'Driscoll
September 18, 2020
Miss you Dad. Jiggle the Lever!
Meghan Gibson
April 2, 2020
I am one of the many who will forever associate Mr John Welsh as the voice of Turkey Bingo at St. Ambrose, and I so looked forward to it. I'm so sorry for your loss. He is back together with his parents and siblings, sharing stories and singing Irish songs and doing a few jigs. God bless you all.
Maureen Harte
March 31, 2020
Praise, salutations, and blessings to John, and to all his Family. A tremendously involved founding Father of St. Ambrose Parish and as a Choir member, his humor and wit will be sorely missed. John is a man of grand personal stature and deeds. Please send us a song, John.
Ralph Smith
March 23, 2020
John as President of the Catholic Newman Center while at the U of U
To Dear Mary and the Family, Please accept our sorrow for the Profound Loss of your Beloved Husband and Father. We grieve with you for this Loss, as John was not only a dear personal friend, but also, such a Large Part of our Catholic Family. John always had a Smile and a Twinkle in his eye, when you saw him. We loved his Irish Tenor, His ready Jokes and, of course, his Irish Brogue. Our Memories
shared with his family through the years will not be forgotten. John will be dearly missed by not only his Family but by his many friends . He is being remembered in Daily Masses by Msgr. Michael Winterer. The Winterer and the Jimenez Family send you their Love and Prayers. MaryAnn
Mary Ann Jimenez
March 23, 2020
Ruben/ MaryAnn and Jimenez Family
March 23, 2020
Dear Mary and Family
We are sorry for the loss of Dear John. We remember John's involvement in St. Ambrose bingo, choir, sports, and community St. Patrick's Day Parade. John's volunteerism knew no bounds. He connected with so many all working toward a common goal.

We will always remember John's kind eyes and warm smile. Heaven is definitely enjoying your loving John. Fly high John!
With sympathy,
Otto & Michele Stuart & Family
Otto & Michele Stuart
March 22, 2020
Rest in Peace, dear John! Sending love to Mary and the entire Welsh family. God bless you!
Cherie Westover
March 22, 2020
John was a warm and giving man beloved by many, especially by my mother, Margaret Hearley May, John's cousin and dear friend. God bless John and Mary and the extended Welsh family.
Timothy May
March 22, 2020
A true son of Erin...Had better been in heaven at least 2 hours before the devil knew of his passing...
A fine gentleman, that never tasted a bad drink...Or at least we hope not. Aways appreciative of fine Spirits...And Good Friends...
Many condolences to all his loved ones at this time...Especially Mary and my Friend Tim...I already miss him...As now there's an empty spot in my heart, and silence in my ears, already missing his laughter and remembering through eyes of flowing tears... Everett G. Amador
Everett Amador
March 20, 2020
May the road rise to meet you. May the wind always be behind you. May the warm sun remain on your face. And soft rains fall on your fields. And until we meet again, May God hold you in the hollow of his hand.
Jack Lytle
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences