Kathleen McNiel Welsh, was born in Gonzales, TX in 1912 and passed away in Corpus Christi on July 4, 2002, a few months short of her 90th birthday. Kathleen was a survivor of the 1919 storm which devastated Corpus Christi and washed away her family's home. She grew up in Corpus Christi, one of six children born to Ellen (Pennington) and Benjamin Napoleon McNiel. Kathleen's gift for art was already evident by illustrating her Corpus Christi High School annual, where she was also elected Princess. Kathleen loved dancing and teaching ballet. In 1936, Kathleen married Reuben Maverick Welsh of San Antonio, TX. They raised three children in Brownsville, TX. She joined the Brownsville Art League where she discerned and developed her talent as a portrait artist. She was a lifelong Episcopalian and was deeply committed to the church all of her life. People gravitated to Kathleen because they sensed how she genuinely enjoyed them. She was witty and charming and loved reciting poetry, often entertaining friends and family by theatrically bursting into song with the lyrics to Edward Lear's poem "The Owl and The Pussycat". In 1965, her husband's business took them to Laredo, TX. There she was awarded many prizes and recognition as a landscape and portrait artist. Kathleen was involved in the Laredo Art League for many years and gave of her time to teach art to others. She had many dear friends in Laredo and especially loved her luncheon group which was humorously named "The Mindless". "Missy", as her eight grandchildren fondly called her, returned to Corpus Christi in 1995 after departing in 1941. Having lived so many years in Corpus Christi, Brownsville and Laredo, she became the "Empress of South Texas, SCT. (self-conferred title)". She exemplified nobility as she always exhibited the manners of an elegant lady during good times as well as bad. Missy was loving, caring, accepting and forgiving, possessing a great joy of life. Very well read and "au currant", she declared her academic degrees to be a Masters in Guilt and a Ph.D. in Whimsy. She truly earned her title and degrees, enjoying her life in her South Texas Kingdom. Missy was dearly loved by her family and friends. Her examples of strength, enthusiasm, love of God and others, art and life will be treasured forever by her family. Kathleen was preceded in death by her husband, Reuben M. Welsh. She is survived by her children, Reuben and Nena Welsh, Nixon and Susie Welsh, Kitty and David Dudics, and her brother, Nixon McNiel, all of Corpus Christi. She has eight grandchildren who adore their "Missy". Her Funeral Service will be held Saturday, July 6, 2002 at 10:00 A.M. at the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, 700 S. Broadway at Park Avenue, Corpus Christi, TX. The Interment Service will follow at 3:00 P.M. at San Jose Burial Park in San Antonio, TX. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that contributions be made to Christ Church Episcopal, 2320 Lane, Laredo, TX 78043. MEMORIAL FUNERAL HOME Corpus Christi, TX 78415 (361) 857-6291
Published in San Antonio Express-News on Jul. 5, 2002.