Welch, William Jerry “Doc” – Obituary

William Jerry “Doc” Welch died Dec. 17, 2004, at home in Tacoma after a valiant battle with cancer.

Although he lived in Thailand and Tacoma much of the time after his 20 years in the U.S. Air Force, he always considered Haines and the Welch Ranch as his home. He was born in Glendale, Calif., on Aug. 25, 1926, to William Ray Welch and Pearl Welch Ercum. When World War II threatened the California Coast he and his sister, JoAnn and his paternal grandmother, Clara M. Welch, came to Haines and spent time with his Aunt Emma and Uncle Albert Fisher and Cousin Kenneth and Aunt Rose Fisher.

Jerry attended school in Haines and college at Washington State University where he became a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, graduating in 1949. He worked with Dr. Ragle for a short time and them moved to La Grande where he worked for the Bureau of Animal Industry testing cattle for Bangs and TB. In 1953 he was drafted into the U.S. Air Force as a First Lieutenant Air Force Veterinarian and decided to make the Air Force his career. He served in Japan, Germany, California, Vietnam, Labrador, North Carolina, Thailand and North Dakota and retired in 1973 with the ranking of Colonel.

Jerry had many interests. He got his pilot’s license at the Baker Airport during his college years. He started winning shooting trophies while in La Grande. He was an avid hunter and fisherman. He was a scuba diver and instructor, a member of the Elks and a staunch supporter of the NRA.

Jerry is survived by his wife, Chan, and two daughters from his first marriage, Laurie Lee and her two children who live in Iowa and Sandra Woods who lives in Springfield with a son and grandson in Eugene and a daughter and grandson in Portland.

A cremation viewing was held Dec. 23, 2004, in Tacoma. The family has tentative plans for a memorial service in the spring with placement of his ashes where he wanted to be near his Welch and Fisher family.

Used with permission from: The Record Courier, Baker City, Oregon, January, 2005
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor



White, Judy Wallis. Baker County, Oregon Obituaries. Published by AccessGenealogy.com. Copyright 1999-2013, all rights reserved.

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