Obituary of Robert Arthur Welch
Robert Arthur Welch (Bob) went Home to be with Jesus on May 27, 2023, at the age of 96. He entered Heaven hearing his Savior’s voice, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
Bob was born at home in Downers Grove, IL to Bryce Thornton Welch and Mildred Pearl Welch (Phelps) on July 29, 1926. As a child, Bob enjoyed playing games with his siblings and building and flying model airplanes. Bob continued building model airplanes well into his 90’s.
He graduated from Downers Grove High School in 1944 and went on to earn his Airframe and Powerplant license. He served his country in the Army Air Corps in WWII and the Air Force in the Korean War as an aircraft mechanic working primarily on the Boeing B-29 Superfortress. A highlight of his life was the Honor Flight where he and his son David flew from Tucson to Washington, DC to visit the WWII memorial and other historic sites.
At the age of 22, while in the Air Force reserves, he met and married Margery Loraine Schulz. Bob and Margie were blessed with two children, David A. Welch, and Holly R. (Welch) McMahan. Bob accepted Christ as his Savior early in their marriage, and they raised their family in Downers Grove, IL where they were active in the First Baptist Church. Bob and Margie had a wonderful 29 years of life together before she passed away in 1978.
Bob worked 37 years for United Airlines as an aircraft mechanic. He also worked part time with the United States Post Office. From 1980 on, Bob served his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as a volunteer with Wycliffe Bible Translators. He fixed airplanes for them at Waxhaw, NC, then went to Peru to fix airplanes there. In Peru he met Susan Elizabeth Schneider, and they were married later that year. Bob and Sue were blessed with 42 1/2 years of marriage.
After returning home from Peru, Bob and Susan settled in Tucson, AZ where Bob continued to serve the Lord with Wycliffe Bible Translators. He served the missionaries travelling to and from Mexico by maintaining and repairing their vehicles in Wycliffe’s auto shop. He was also active in his church, Canyon Del Oro Baptist Church and maintained and repaired their church bus. After Wycliffe, Bob established a business called “Catalina Bob’s” where he continued to repair the missionary vehicles for free. He finally “hung up his tools” at the ripe old age of 92.
Bob joins his mother, father, his brothers Eugene W. Welch (Genevieve) and Richard E. Welch (Marilynn), along with his sisters Ruth I. (Welch) Waterman and Marilou Welch, his first wife Margery L. Welch and his son-in-law James H. McMahan in Heaven. He is survived by his wife Susan E. Welch, his sister Peggy A. (Welch) Snowdall, his son David A. Welch (Deborah) and daughter Holly R. (Welch) McMahan, and 5 grandchildren: Cori L. (Welch) Knutson, David R. Welch, Erin R. (McMahan) Yang, Jonathan D. McMahan, Michael B. McMahan, and 10 great grandchildren.
· Genesis 25:8 Abraham breathed his last and died in a ripe old age, an old man and satisfied with life; and he was gathered to his people.
· Psalms 116:15 Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.
In lieu of flowers, gifts may be given to Bob’s most treasured charitable organizations:
· Wycliffe Bible Translators. P.O. Box 628200, Orlando, FL 32862. Please note that your gift is in memory of Robert A Welch.
· Pangasinan Bible Mission of the Philippines. Please make your check payable to Commission Ministers Network, P.O. Box 291002, Kerrville, TX 78029. Please note that your gift is in memory of Robert A Welch.
A Celebration of Life service will be held later this summer in Downers Grove, IL.
Interment will be private at the Clarendon Hills Cemetery, Darien, IL where Bob will be buried with full military honors.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Robert Welch, please visit Tribute Store