Longtime owner, publisher and editor Robert C. Welch dies at 83

Robert C. Welch, 83 of Perrysburg, died Saturday, October 11, 2008, at the Manor at Perrysburg.

Born May 19, 1925, in Toledo, he was the son of Joseph and Harriet Welch. He attended grade school and Robinson Junior High prior to moving to Virginia with his parents.

He enlisted in the United States Navy in 1942 and served aboard the USS Montpelier for the duration of World War II, earning 12 battle stars. His ship participated in the longest battle of World War II (Empress Augusta Bay, Bougainville) and fired more rounds than any other cruiser in the war. He was honored to serve as a member of the commissioning committee of the nuclear submarine USS Toledo.

He returned to Toledo in 1946, when he married Dorothy J. Hamilton, his junior high school sweetheart on January 26, 1946. They were married for 62 years.

He also is survived by three sons: John (Sally) Welch, Dr. Robert (Sally) Welch, and Matthew (Brenda) Welch. He was preceded in death by his son, James Welch. Other survivors include his grandchildren, Amy (Dan Boggs) Pickering, Chester (Kelley) Welch, Alissa (David) Ingram, Destiny (Don) Pisula, Olivia (Brent) Dacre, Adam (Andrea) Welch, Robert (Anne-Marie) Welch, Jr., Branden (Natalie) Welch, Kathryn Welch, Noah Welch, and Sydney Welch; great- grandchildren, Madeline Dacre, Allison Pisula, Aidan Ingram, Derrek Welch, Benjamin Dacre, Troy Pisula, Conner Welch and Claire Ingram; brother-in-law, Robert (Joan) Hamilton; sister-in-law, Mary (James) Whitten, and many nieces and nephews.

Mr. Welch co-owned Welch Publishing Co. which he and his wife founded in 1980. He was owner, editor and publisher emeritus of the Perrysburg Messenger Journal and Rossford Record Journal since 1969; the Point and Shoreland Journal since 1978, and the Holland- Springfield Journal since 2003.

Mr. Welch had worked at the newspapers since 1947. He lived in Perrysburg since 1949, with the exception of 10 years in Whitehouse. He served as Sunday School Superintendent and Scout Master of Troop 110 at Grace United Methodist Church, where he was a member for more than 50 years.

Civic organizations included: Perrysburg Chamber of Commerce (former board member), Rotary Club of Perrysburg (charter member, past president, chairman of Perrysburg Rotary Service Foundation), Exchange Club, Historic Perrysburg (charter member, trustee), honorary member of League of Women Voters, honorary member of Girl Scouts of America, (Maumee Valley Council), Northern Wood County YMCA (former board member), sustaining member of Black Swamp Conservatory, sustaining member of Toledo Area YMCA. Fraternal affiliations include Phoenix Lodge #123 F&AM, Fort Miami Chapter RAM, Calumet Council R&SM, St. Omer Commandery, Turkeyfoot Council Allied Masonic Degrees, Perrysburg Chapter OES, DEO 8th Capitular District Royal Arch Masons, DDGHP 8th Capitular District RAM, past president 6th Division Commandery CTA, Scottish Rite Valley of Toledo (past county director Wood, Fulton and Henry counties), Zenobia Shrine  (Crusaders, Mariners, Wood County Shrine Club), Red Cross of Constantine, O-TON-TA-LA Grotto, Downtown High Twelve Club, Knights of Ireland, and President Phoenix Temple Board. He was a Knight York Cross of Honour and also a recipient of the Order of DeMolay Legion of Honor.

Professional memberships include Society of Professional Journalists, Buckeye Press Association, and National Newspaper Association.

Other memberships included American Legion Post #28 (Perrysburg), Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10912 (Blissfield, Michigan), Fraternal Order of Elks (Maumee, Ohio), and honorary member U.S. LST Association. His hobbies included fishing on Lake Erie where he skippered the "Good News" and "Gold Watch." Friends were received Monday, October 13, in the Witzler-Shank Funeral Home, Perrysburg, where Phoenix Lodge #123 F&AM Masonic Services began at 7 p.m., followed by Perrysburg Chapter #446 OES services.

Funeral services were held Tuesday, October 14, at Grace United Methodist Church, 601 East Boundary Street, Perrysburg, with the Rev. Bill Bauman officiating. Burial was in Fort Meigs Cemetery.

Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider the Perrysburg Rotary Service Foundation, the Perrysburg High School Robert C. Welch Journalism Scholarship Fund, Hospice of Northwest Ohio or a charity of the donor's choice.