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Obituary for Glenn E. Welsh
Glenn E. Welsh, age 83 died on Friday, August 23rd, 2013 peacefully and at his home in Dalton, Ohio. He had been in declining health for some time and died as he wished, peacefully in his home. Graveside services will be held Saturday, August 31, 2013, 11:00 AM at the Crown Hill Cemetery, Orrville where Glenn will be interred next to his wife, Barabara. Visitation will be held on Friday, August 30, 2013, 6-8 pm at Gresser Funeral Home in Orrville. The family requests in lieu of flowers that donations be made in memory of Glenn to Hazelden Treasury Services, RW 7, PO Box 11, Center City, MN 55012. Glenn was born in his parent's house in Orrville, OH. The last of 6 children of the late Charles Welsh and Philomena (Lower) Welsh, he was a quiet man, raised during the Great Depression to be thrifty, handy, creative, and resourceful. In Orrville, he attended Oak Street, Walnut Street, and Orrville High Schools, graduating in 1949 - the only boy in his family to do so. Following graduation, he worked in local service stations until deciding, with a group of friends, to enlist in the service rather than wait for a draft notice. He signed up for the US Air Force in January 1951. He wanted to be an aircraft mechanic, but the Air Force decided instead to send him to Arizona State College where he learned how to be a clerk typist. They then shipped him to Goose Bay Labrador, a "hardship base" in cold, remote Canadian northlands. After a year, he was reassigned to Hamilton Air Force Base and then the 4th Air Reserve District Headquarters, in San Francisco, CA. While there, he lodged at a guesthouse, where in 1953 he came to meet the late Barbara (Strite) Welsh. They enjoyed dinners together, rode a motorcycle around the city and fell in love - marrying in January 1954 and residing in Danville CA, in a tiny two room apartment perched precariously over a river. After separating from the Air Force at the completion of his hitch in 1955, Glenn moved to Los Angeles and later Long Beach, CA, where, under the GI, bill he studied at Rockwell and became a certified Aero A & E mechanic. While in Los Angeles, he ran a gas station at the corner of Florence and Normandy. It was in Los Angeles where his first-born daughter, Carol, was born prematurely, and died. There, also, his first son, Charles (currently residing in San Jose, California) was born, as well. On moving to long beach, son Steven (currently of Dalton, Ohio) was born. Longing for family, Glenn moved back to Orrville in 1960 and began working at Smith Dairy, as a Maintenance Man - a role he kept for 35 years, until retiring in 1995. In Orrville, son Thomas (currently of Marysville, OH) was born in 1963, and the following year, daughter Beverly was born, only to die in her sleep just three months later. The loss of his little girls was a heartache that was always in the background. In 1960, he purchased an apple orchard from a farmer on Church Road in Dalton. With the help of his father, brothers, and sister, Glenn built a house for his family, there. It took about 25 years to finish that house, what with all that life threw at him, but he made it a good home for his family. His wife, Barbara, was truly the love of his life. She died in an auto accident in February of 1985. After that, Glenn descended into a dark period, in which he mourned, and sought solace in alcohol. In 1988, with the support of his family and his employer, Smith Dairy, he chose to enter recovery at Hazelden and remained sober for the rest of his life. He also, amazingly, quit smoking at 62, a decision that helped him to reach an age he never dreamed of attaining. Because his father and brothers were all dead by age of 72 - Glenn considered every day after his 72nd birthday to be a gift - borrowed time. Well, he made the most of his borrowed time. In retirement, he indulged his passion for mechanical things, building a machine shop in his basement. He bought a bicycle and rode over miles of train tracks that had been converted to bike trails. He became an expert at using the computer to communicate and research information. He cared for his sister Dorothy Welsh, until her death in 2001, and convinced his big sister Evelyn Bendot to move from Florida to Orrville, where they could stay close and help one another. He traveled to California to visit the places of his Air Force service and see, just one more time, where he courted Barb. He loved gardening, growing flowers and cacti, frequented auctions, became a hobbyist with hit-and-miss engines, and delved deep into and recorded family history - an endeavor that gave us the wonderful content of this obituary. The lessons he taught us include: how important it is to remain connected to and to care for family, that loss comes to us all, but that by persisting, we can see a new light on the other side; that the cost of not following your dream can be high, but that redemption and new beginnings are available to us at any age; that actions and events have effects that ripple through generations; and that a gentle sense of humor can get you through your worst day. Glenn was preceded in death by his wife Barbara, Father, Mother, Brothers Ralph Welsh, Don Welsh, and Jim Welsh, sister, Dorothy Welsh, great grandson Gabriel Welsh. Surviving are his sister Evelyn (Orrville), sons Charles, Steven, and Thomas, grandchildren Zack Welsh (Canton), Matt Welsh (Wooster), Jordan Welsh (Dalton), Amber Ady (Creston), Conrad Welsh and Catherine Welsh (San Jose, CA) and great grandchildren Savannah Welsh (Canton), Skylar Ady, Trenten Ady, Ethan Ady, and Chase Ady (Creston). Only the constant, tireless commitment of Steven Welsh made that possible. Countless, hours, logistical arrangements, middle of the night calls and visits by Steve made this possible. We extend our love and appreciation for his commitment. The family would also like to gratefully acknowledge the skill and dedication of care-givers Karen Collins and Ellie Matlock, whose presence allowed Glenn to stay in his home (which was his wish) long after he would have been able to.