Cover photo for Jerome Welch's Obituary
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1933 Jerome 2023

Jerome Welch

September 13, 1933 — August 31, 2023



It is with sadness that we announce Jerome “Jerry” Thomas Welch, age 89, of Gilbert, was called home to the loving arms of his Heavenly Father.  He passed away on Thursday, August 31, 2023 under the care of Solvay Hospice House in Duluth due to complications from mesothelioma 14 days before his 90th birthday.  Jerry’s family is grateful to have spent his final days with him, with many visitors and around the clock family support.

Jerry was born on September 13, 1933, to Thomas and Neva (Barker) Welch in Wadena, MN.  He left the hospital without a given name on his birth certificate, which read “Baby Boy Welch” until he corrected it decades later.

He grew up on the family farm with 2 brothers and 5 sisters.  Working on the farm, at a young age, he learned how things work and how to fix them when they broke, which became his lifetime interest and basis for his occupations.  Most of his growing up and adult work life was hands-on, and he passed many of those skills along to his kids, except Scott.

He attended Otter Tail County School and Wadena High School, graduating from Wadena in 1951.  While in school, in addition to working on the family farm, he worked at the Ford dealer garage.

After high school, Jerry worked construction, auto mechanic, and other jobs before enlisting in the US Army.  Jerry served from June 1955 – 1957 as a wheeled vehicle maintenance technician.  After completing basic training at Ft. Chaffee, AR, he graduated at the top of his specialty class in Ft. Benning, GA, before posting to Ft. Campbell, KY, supporting the 101st Airborne Division. He was honorably discharged at the rank of Specialist 3.  Like many in his generation, he is proud to have served and continued to socialize with other veterans at servicemen’s clubs and events.

In 1955, Jerry married Marilyn Lustila in Menahga, MN, while on military leave.  Jerry and Marilyn had three children: Scott, Debbie, and Greg prior to Marilyn’s passing in 1960.

After his military service, Jerry soon went to work at Erie Mining Company, which became LTV Steel, where he remained for 37 years until his retirement in 1994 as a maintenance technician.  In addition to his day job, he also ran a used farm tractor and implement business on evenings and weekends, and continued that activity until his final days.

In 1964, Jerry married Elizabeth “Betty” Abele, in Fosston, MN.  Jerry and Betty had five children: Terese, Bill, Joe, Michele, and Bob.  Betty passed away in 1988.

During his early retirement years, Jerry enjoyed trips by tour bus and plane to warm places with his long-time companion Janice Taylor, visiting Hawaii, the Caribbean, and Branson, MO, among other locations.

Jerry was a member of St. John’s Catholic Church in Biwabik, MN.  Activities there in his prime years included serving on the parish council and participating in fund-raising activities.  He always said a prayer before meals, often leading at family gatherings, and wasn’t shy about having an extra dessert to finish things off while complimenting the cook.

In his later years, he enjoyed riding his Gator, reading the newspaper cover-to-cover, and continued reading to learn more about topics of interest to him.  Jerry had an inquisitive nature that spurred his reading, and enjoyed social gatherings to engage in discussions on current events or historical perspectives.

Jerry is preceded in death by his parents Thomas and Neva, wife Marilyn, wife Elizabeth, brother Larry Welch, sister Loretta Davis, and sister Joan Conlin.

Jerry was a big brother, Dad, Grandpa, Great Papa, cousin, and uncle to many, and will be missed by his family and friends, as well as the stray cats that he fed for many years.

He is survived by all his children:  Scott Welch of Hastings, MN, Debbie (Dan) Lundberg of Clackamas, OR Greg Welch of Iron, MN, Terese Welch of Minneapolis, MN, Bill (Michelle) Welch of Eau Claire, WI, Joe Welch of Caledonia, MN, Michele (Tim) Fritze of Eden Prairie, MN, and Robert Welch of Iron, MN; 8 grandchildren, 4 great-grandchildren; siblings Patricia Welch of Roseville, MN, John (Nancie) Welch of Frederick, WI, Sharon (Bob) Asselin of St. Cloud, MN.  and Mary Kay (Chuck) Wurzinger of Coon Rapids, MN; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

The family wishes to thank:  Staff at Essentia St. Mary’s, Solvay Hospice House, Essentia Virginia and Hibbing, Waterview Pines,  Aveanna and Spectrum Home Care

Mass of Christian Burial will be 10 a.m. Friday, September 15, 2023 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Gilbert with Fr. Charles Flynn celebrating. A visitation will be 5-7 p.m. Thursday at the Ziemer-Moeglein-Shatava Funeral Home in Gilbert with recitation of the rosary at 6:45 p.m.  Visitation will continue one hour prior to Mass at the church.  Military honors will be accorded by the Gilbert VFW Color Guard.  Interment will be in the Biwabik Township Cemetery. 




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Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Service

Friday, September 15, 2023

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

St. Joseph's Catholic Church

Louisiana Ave W, Gilbert, MN 55741

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