Dr. Donald E. Welsh, 81, a prominent Churubusco veterinarian and community leader, passed away on December27, 2010 at his residence with his family by his side. He had been diagnosed with cancer on September 2, 2010.
Dr. Welsh was born in Zanesville, Ohio on August 7, 1929, a son of Stanley and Doris (Vandenbark) Welsh, and graduated from high school there. He had earned an associates degree from Michigan State University, and was engaged in farming until the age of 29 when he entered Ohio State University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in agriculture and a doctorate in veterinary medicine.
Upon completing his education he worked for one year in Lynn, Indiana before moving to Churubusco and taking over the practice of former Churubusco veterinarian Dr. Bradley in 1963. His career as a veterinarian spanned a period of over 43 years, and he was the owner and operator of Churubusco Veterinary Hospital for 42 years, retiring in 2005. Following his retirement, he continued to work part time at the clinic now operated by his former associate, Dr. Neil Hanni.
In addition to his veterinary practice, his life was marked by memberships and activities in a variety of civic and fraternal organizations. He was a member of Churubusco United Methodist Church, where he had served in a variety of administrative capacities. He was also past master of Churubusco Masonic Lodge # 515 F&AM, and was a member of Churubusco Order of the Eastern Star # 136, Mizpah Shrine in Fort Wayne, Whitley County Shrine Club, and Scottish Rite, Valley of Fort Wayne. For several years he served on the executive board of the Humane Society of Whitley County and the Churubusco Chamber of Commerce, and was named Churubusco Chamber of Commerce “Citizen of the Year” in 1999. He was a member of the Churubusco Rotary. He enjoyed playing golf, and riding his bike. He rode several years in the Hilly Hundred bicycle ride.
On March 14, 1992, he was married in Churubusco to Darlene (Polick). She survives. Since 1997 the couple have owned an Airstream trailer, and they have been very active in the Wally Byam Caravan Club International. They traveled to Vermont, Oregon, North Dakota to Florida, and many other states for international rallies and vacationed in the winter for a few months around the Gulf Shores, Al. area.
Other surviving relatives include two sons, Brian (Tracy) Welsh of Greenwood, and Ronald (Donna) Welsh of Mooresville, NC; three step children, Cynthia (Tom) Ritter of Oregon, Oh. Kenneth Polick of Riverview, Fl., and Roger (Wynelle) Ulrich of Vacaville, Ca. a sister, Marie (Russ) Bolin of Zanesville, Oh. his brother Robert Welsh of Mt. Pleasant, Mi; seven grandchildren; Audree (Chad) Ousley, Diana Welsh, Megan Welsh, Matt Welsh, Morgan Welsh, Delaney Welsh, and Greyson Welsh; eight step-grandchildren; Christie Slaman, Brian Slaman, Elysia Ulrich, Zachary Ulrich, Allison Ulrich, Andrea Polick, Becca Polick, and Ben Polick. Also nieces Trudy Matz, Pam Derry, Deborah Welsh, and Kellie Froelicher.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a son George on June 26, 2009.
Funeral services will be held at 10:00 AM on Friday December 31, 2010 in the Churubusco United Methodist Church, 750 N. Main Street with Pastor Corinne K. Boruff officiating. The family will receive friends at the church from 2:00 PM to 8:00 PM on Thursday at the Churubusco United Methodist Church. Interment will be in the Riverview Cemetery, South of Churubusco. For those who wish, memorials may be directed to the Churubusco United Methodist Church, or the Whitley County Humane Society,
The Sheets and Childs Funeral Home of Churubusco are entrusted with the services.
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