James Henry Welch passed away peacefully in his home on March 1st after an extended illness. James was born August 24, 1932 in Beaumont, Texas to parents Adlai Guy and Ruth Dominy Welch. He graduated from Alvin High School earning a full football scholarship to Baylor University and later received a Bachelor of Science from the University of Houston. James married Barbara Booth, the mother of his four children, and rice farmed several years prior to his employment at Phillips. He worked 45 years at Phillips Petroleum in Houston negotiating pipeline right-aways and was well liked and respected by all who knew him. Due to his winning ways and charming personality, he was absolutely a “people person”. He married his former Alvin schoolmate, Patsy Mach Greene in 1994, and moved to Smithville. He and Patsy loved camping and traveled in their RVs to our nation’s parks. James was a disciplined cyclist and could be seen in the early mornings riding his bike for many miles. James and Patsy were both very active in the Rosanky Baptist Church. James was always one to volunteer if help was needed, whether taking someone to cancer treatments in Austin or someone needing their grass mowed due to a health situation. James had a happy heart to serve and he never complained. His Lord and Savior were his first and foremost to serve. He spent many loving hours in the construction of the Rosanky Church Sanctuary. James’ joy was working in pecan orchards. He was President of the Texas Pecan Growers Association for several years and the recipient of first place awards for his pecans. His pecan grafting abilities were recognized by Texas A&M. At his and Patsy’s home, he grafted a tree with eight different varieties. James loved the Smithville community that he adopted. He spoke at Smithville High and Bastrop High to students regarding drinking and driving at an event called “Shattered Dreams”. He enthusiastically supported the Lady Tigers basketball team during their winning streaks and challenged them to victory by riding his bike to each out of town game. James loved life itself and touched all he who met him with his gentle way. He signed his emails “my cup runneth over” and that is how he viewed his life on this earth. He is preceded in death by his parents, his three children: Richard Welch, Guy Welch, and Douglas Welch, and his brother Roy of St. Louis, Missouri. He is survived by his loving wife Patsy Jean of Smithville and his daughter LeAnn Forgy of Alvin and her husband Mike Forgy, sister Ruth Schovajsa of Alvin, her husband Dan, sister in law Nell Welch of St. Louis. Stepdaughters are Gay Powers, Sherry Jameson and Janice Hurst of Smithville and Brenda Mitchell of Austin and their husbands, Ray, Mitch, Don and Scott, respectively. His grandsons are James Robert Forgy, Jared Forgy, Guy Forgy and Jonathan Forgy and their wives, Jessica, Tiffany, Jess and Ashton; and Mike Hudson, grandson. Great grandchild is Breonna and great great grandchild Myla. They all fondly called him “Dee”. Patsy’s family also includes his grandchildren Julia and husband Raul, Wade, Grant, Cody and wife Daniela, and Shea; great granddaughters Keori and Harper. They will always remember the love they shared with their “Papa James”.
A “Celebration of Life” will be held at Rosanky Baptist Church on Saturday the 26th day of March at 11am. Reverend Joe McArthur, his lifelong friend, will officiate the service. A lunch served after the service will be provided.
There will be a private graveside service with family.
The family of James Welch extends their special gratitude to his wonderful caregivers. Special thanks to Seton Main in Austin, New Haven in Bastrop, The Towers of Smithville and Encompass Hospice.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Sam Craig Ministries, 900 Private Road 4811, Gonzales, Texas 78621. or Venmo: Samuel Craig @ samuel-Craig-25