Jimmie Wendell Welch died on Friday, January 16 at the Fairview Manor in Fairmont, NE with his wife by his side. He donated his body to science to further the education of others.
A Memorial Service will be held at the Fairview Manor Nursing Home in Fairmont, NE on Thursday, January 22 at 3pm. A Celebration of Life will be held at Omaha Eagles #38, 201 S. 24th Street in Omaha, NE on Saturday, January 24 at 2 pm. Memorials to the family.
Jimmie Wendell Welch was born in Cherokee, OK on January 9, 1935 to Olen and Thelma Welch. He attended school in Cherokee and graduated from Cherokee High School in 1953. Jim moved to the Midwest to work and met JoAnn Vohl. They were married in 1955 and from this union were three sons, Jimmy Ray, Bob and Mark. Jim joined the United States Air Force in 1955. He worked as a Jet Mechanic on B47’s. He was honorably discharged in 1960. Upon returning home he worked in the Lincoln area. He worked for Lincoln Public Schools and managed the Fraternal Order of Eagles #147. In 1975 he moved to Grand Island to manage the Fraternal Order of Eagles #378. He married Patty Stithem in 1979. They raised a daughter, Rhonda. They moved to Central City, NE and purchase Patty’s Pub which they had until 1985. They moved to York, NE. He worked at Epworth Village through 1991, Hearthstone through 1998, and Mosaic through 2004. Jim had some serious health issue that led to a kidney transplant in 1999. He retired in 2009. After several years being at home due to the ongoing health issue he moved to Fairview Manor in Fairmont, NE. He quickly fit in to the environment of the nursing home life. He enjoyed the many activities that they offered along with a new family. Jim played cards, dominos and enjoyed fishing. Even though he was born and raised in Oklahoma he was very much a Husker Football Fan. He enjoyed the horse races and was a casino lover. He was truly an Eagle and lived by the motto, “People Helping People.” Papa Jim loved the Brothers and Sisters of the Fraternal Order of Eagles and was so proud to be chosen “State Father of the Year” in 2009. He sometimes ran out of allowance for all of his kids. He was very proud of his service to our Country. All in all he was a hard worker, great Eagle and a wonderful friend.
He was a member of Omaha Eagles #38, a lifetime member of the American Legion Post 300 and a member of the Elks Lodge in York.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Olen and Thelma; a sister, Betty; a brother, Leo; and 2 nephews; Randy and Ronnie. He is survived by his wife, Patty; his children Jimmy Ray Welch of Lincoln, Bob and Deb Welch of Lincoln, Mark Welch of Papillion and Rhonda Schafer of Grove City, OH; his grandchildren Sasha Welch, Jon Welch and Zachary Schafer; his great-grandchildren Jai Lyn and Parker Welch; a brother, Ray Welch of Hays, KS; and sisters, Iola Gibson of Guthrie, OK and Rosie (Duane) Frech of Woodward, OK; Brother-in-laws, Louis (Gwen) Stithem of Broken Bow and Phil Kraft, Jr of Grand Island along with many nieces and nephews.