William Welch Sr.

William "Bill" G. Welch Sr.

William "Bill" G. Welch Sr., 97, passed away Monday, Jan. 4, 2021, at his home in Onalaska. He was born in La Crosse June 6, 1923, to Charles H. and Katherine (Stangl) Welch.

Bill attended La Crosse Lincoln and St Joseph's Cathedral grade schools and graduated from Aquinas High School in 1940. During those years he sang in the Cathedral Boys Choir and served Mass at the Cathedral and St. Rose Convent. Following high school he attended The Illinois Institute of Technology and La Crosse State Teachers College.

His education was interrupted by his enlistment in the U.S. Army, during World War II, where he served as a Technical Sargent in the Army Signal Corps and was stationed at various locations in the U.S. and the South Pacific.

Following World War II he owned Welch Radio TV and Appliance until its closing in 1959. He then worked for SM Supply Co. until he was hired in 1961 by the La Crosse Vocational School, now Western Technical College, to start and teach a program in electronics. During his first few years of teaching he was also able to complete his Bachelor's Degree at La Crosse State Teachers College and his Master's Degree at Stout State University. In addition he was also able to obtain his First Class Radio-Telephone License. During his 25 years at Western he was instrumental in the development and growth of the Industrial Technologies Division and retired as Dean of Industrial Technologies in 1986.

He was united in marriage with Mary Funke Sept. 3, 1949, at St. Joseph's Cathedral in La Crosse. They were married for 55 years until Mary's death in 2005. Bill and Mary had four children and together transformed a stone quarry horse barn into a wonderful family home at the foot of Grandad Bluff, living there for 44 years. Bill was a great husband, father and family man. He enjoyed boating, camping and traveling with his family. He was the original DIYer, with interests in woodworking, electronics and tinkering, in general. Upon his retirement, Bill and Mary traveled around the country in their travel trailer and discovered Jupiter, Fla. where they bought a condo and wintered there for 25 years.

Bill was a devout Catholic and attended mass nearly every day. In La Crosse he was a member of St. Joseph the Workman Cathedral Parish where he was a member of the Knights of Columbus and the Cathedral cooking club. In Florida he was a member of St Patrick's Church in Palm Beach Gardens, where he was very active in the choir.

He was a member of the American Legion, the American Technical Education Association, Wisconsin and La Crosse Retired Educators Associations and the La Crosse and Onalaska Historical Societies.

In September 2011 he was a proud participant in Freedom Honor Flight #8.

He is survived by his children, William, Jr. (Catherine) Welch, Onalaska, Michael (Bonnie) Welch, Boca Raton, Fla., Mary (Patrick) Lee, Holmen, Patricia Welch (Daniel Walker), Madison, Wis; grandchildren, William (Samantha) Welch, Milwaukee, Wis., Melissa Welch, Gainesville, Fla., Michael II (Youko) Welch, Santee, Calif., Thad Lee, Alma, Colo., Jessica Lee (Brady Bornhauser), Onalaska; great-grandson, Luka Bornhauser, Onalaska; sister-in-law, Mercedes Welch and the Welch family and Funke family; nieces and nephews.

Bill was preceded in death by his wife, Mary; brother, Donald Welch; nephews, Timothy and Terrance Welch and Funke family; sisters-in-law, and brothers-in-law.

Bill's family would like to send a special thank you to his Comfort Keepers caregivers, his Mayo Health Systems physicians and the Mayo Hospice team.

A private Mass of Christian Burial will be live streamed at 10:30 a.m. Monday, Jan. 11, from St. Joseph the Workman Cathedral La Crosse, with a private visitation at 10 a.m. until the time of service. Burial will follow the service.

The service may be live streamed at: https://youtu.be/RSkBgWGV4HY or on the Cathedral web site and will be available on demand at the same link.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be designated to: St Joseph the Workman Cathedral, Aquinas Catholic Schools or the Western Technical College Foundation.

Online condolences may be made at www.blaschkeschneider.com.

To plant trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published by La Crosse Tribune from Jan. 8 to Jan. 10, 2021.
10:00a.m. - 10:30a.m.
St. Joseph the Workman Cathedral
, La Crosse, Wisconsin
Mass of Christian Burial
St. Joseph the Workman Cathedral
, La Crosse, Wisconsin
Funeral services provided by:
Blaschke-Schneider Funeral Homes
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On behalf of Grand Knight Chris Schlegel and all of our Brother Knights of La Crosse Council 839, I would like to extend to the Welch Family our deepest sympathies on the passing of Bill. Please know that we will always be very deeply thankful for Bill's many years of faithful service to our Council, the Cathedral parish, the community and to families. With sadness in our hearts for we will truly miss him but with a deep and profound sense of gratitude for his life lived in response to the call of the Gospel, we offer our prayers including the Holy Rosary for his soul and for his family that they be comforted in their sorrow. Fraternally yours in Jesus, Mary and Joseph and in deepest sympathy, Charlie Peters Acting Deputy Grand Knight, La Crosse Council 838
Charlie Peters
January 11, 2021
Our deepest sympathy to the entire Welch family. To Bill, Cathy and Will your dad and grand father certainly made a difference at Western for so many years. May your memories fill your hearts with the warmth and pride of your dad who lived a wonderful life!
Jackie and John Newman
January 9, 2021
Sympathy to the family of Bill Welch, Sr. He was a leader in the community and especially at Western. Blessings to the families of Bill Sr., and special thoughts to Bill & Cathy, and Will. His legacy will live on. Blessed be your memories.
Bill and Betty Brendel
January 9, 2021
Bill was one of the nicest patients and persons I have ever worked with. He always had a smile on his face. He was a devoted husband and father, always talking about his kids. I will miss him! My sympathies to you!
Barb Davis (Smile Care Dental)
January 8, 2021