Mary V. (Church) Welch, 85, departed this life peacefully on Thursday morning, July 10, 2014, after a brief illness.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 19, 2014 at Holy Family Catholic Church in Hannibal. Father Mike Quinn will officiate. Burial will be at Holy Family Catholic Cemetery in Hannibal.
Visitation will be Friday, July 18, 2014 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. with Rosary at 5:30 p.m. at the James O’Donnell Funeral Home in Hannibal, MO.
She was born in St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Hannibal on August 13, 1928, the oldest child of Viola Ryan Church and Ralph Church. She attended McCooey High School, where she was valedictorian of her graduating class, a cheerleader, Valentine Sweetheart and Homecoming Queen attendant. She attended college at Mount St. Scholastica in Atchison, Kansas.
She married Robert J. Welch of Hannibal on April 21, 1949, at the Immaculate Conception Church in Hannibal – the start of a 61-year union which flourished until his death on July 2, 2010. They lived in St. Louis while he worked for the Fisher Body Division of General Motors Corporation in St. Louis prior to returning to Hannibal in 1953.
Mary was active for decades in the Missouri pro-life movement, and began hosting the now-large Right to Life Garage Sale in her driveway at 115 Shepherd Place. She continued supporting pro-life causes to the end. She also was instrumental for many years in coordinating the 24-hour Eucharistic adoration within Holy Family Parish.
Mary was charitable, devout, and faithful; she loved God, her family, her church, her community, and her country. She dedicated many years of her life to providing a nurturing home for her husband and six sons. She was vivacious and highly considerate, taking a deep and genuine interest in other people. She was a gracious hostess, tireless teacher, efficient household manager, serious nutritionist, and excellent cook. Her recipes and journals of family meals and special occasion menus are detailed and useful. She had a beautiful voice and loved to sing. She thoroughly enjoyed flowers and plants, music, bird-watching, good dogs, reading, food preparation, and family vacations.
Mary is survived by her brother, sons, daughters-in-law, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, whom she loved dearly and who will always remember her sacrifices, support, love, and care for them. She lives on in the memory and lives of her brother, Fr. Wenceslaus F. X. Church, O.F.M. of Chicago; and her children: Dr. John Welch (Cristina) of Madrid, Spain (grandson Guillermo); Joseph Welch (Sharon) of Hannibal (grandchildren: Eric (Karine), Christopher (Sonia and great-grandchildren Elena and Peter), Colin (Cate and great-granddaughter Rebecca), Maria Nolan (Patrick), and Theresa Golbeck (Frank and great-granddaughter Eleanor); Michael Welch (Janet) of Centennial, CO (grandchildren: Rebecca Geswein (David and great-grandsons William and James), Daniel (Cara and great-grandson Brady), Bridget King (Jason and great-grandchildren Adam and Grace), and Marybeth Goodwin (Joe); Marilyn Kerkemeyer (Dr. George) of Hannibal (grandchildren: Leslie Wilde, Meredith Cornelison (Steve and great-grandchildren Elijah, Joshua and Charles), Ryan, and Margaret); Stephen Welch (Shari) of Seattle, WA (grandchildren: Lucas (great-granddaughter Brooklyn) and John Adam (Audrey); and Dr. Timothy Welch (Judi) of Eugene, OR (grandchildren: Jacob, Andrew, Emily and Hannah).
She was preceded in death by her parents; her beloved husband, Bob; and her beloved son, Mark.
Contributions in memory of Mary Welch may be made to: Holy Family Parish, 218 S. Maple Avenue, Hannibal, MO 63401 or Missouri Right to Life, P.O. Box 651, Jefferson City, MO 65102.
Pallbearers are: John R. Welch, Joseph D. Welch, Michael F. Welch, Ryan M. Welch, Stephen G. Welch, and Timothy B. Welch
Honorary Pallbearers are: Guillermo Welch Casals, Eric R. Welch, Christopher J. Welch, Colin A. Welch, Daniel M. Welch, Lucas A. Welch, John A. Welch, Andrew M. Welch, Jacob T. Welch and Jimmy O’Donnell.
Online condolences may be made and video tribute may be viewed at www.jamesodonnellfuneralhome.com.