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Thomas & Phyllis Welch
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Phyllis Jean Welch, 88, passed away on April 15, 2023. She was followed in death by her beloved husband of 70 years, Thomas James Welch, 90, who passed away on May 10, 2023.
They were both born in Huntington, WV, and graduated from Huntington East High School. She was the daughter of Charles and Tempa Morris. He was the son of Thayer and Beatrice Welch and the brother of the late Louis Edward Welch. Tom and Phyllis were married on December 26, 1952, while he was on leave from military service at Wiesbaden Air Base in Germany. She remained at home working for the Huntington Publishing Company while he returned overseas for another year of service.
The couple began a series of career moves upon Tom’s graduation from Marshall University, first living in Huntington and then Clarksburg, WV, when he worked for Sears, Roebuck and Co. In 1961 he began a nearly 30-year career with the Social Security Administration, which took the family to seven cities in five states in 15 years. Tom and Phyllis eventually made their home in Tallahassee, FL, and lived there for 38 years.
They became parents early in their marriage and then waited patiently and faithfully for 14 years before having their second child. Phyllis worked outside the home for a finance company for a brief time and then concentrated on raising her daughters. Later she sold Avon, worked part-time as a church secretary, and sold ladies’ fashion at Rheinauers and Parisian department stores.
Phyllis and Tom joined a local church everywhere they lived. Phyllis could almost always be found singing in the choir. She performed duets with her eldest daughter and played piano for her youngest daughter’s preschool choir. While in Tallahassee, they were members of Killearn United Methodist Church and later Deer Lake United Methodist Church. Supporting Killearn UMC’s annual dinner theater, Phyllis performed with the “McChoir Sisters” ensemble while Tom oversaw preparation of the famed gourmet meal. Upon his retirement from the federal government, Tom worked as Killearn UMC’s first director of facilities and operations.
Phyllis passed along her love of gardening to her daughters. She made the most amazing macaroni and cheese that has yet to be replicated by either daughter. She also delighted in performing on-demand piano recitals for an adoring great-granddaughter.
Tom enjoyed golfing, fishing, building layouts for his HO scale model railroad, and researching family genealogy. Over the years, he shared his talents as a Boy Scout leader, Rotarian, Kiwanian, church treasurer, parade float designer and builder, and basketball coach.
Together Tom and Phyllis danced with local square dance clubs and, after moving to Tallahassee, cheered on the FSU Seminoles. In retirement, they cruised throughout the Caribbean, Central and South America, and Alaska. In 2015, they moved to Atlanta to be close to their family and lived at the Mansions of Sandy Springs where they made many more dear friends.
They are survived by daughters, Vicki (Joel L., Jr.) Alvis and Heather (Jason) Sawyer; grandsons, Jody (Kelsey) Alvis and Mark (Emily) Alvis; and great-granddaughters, Avery Lynn and Shepherd Jean. They are also survived by her sister, Marlene Morris Dillon; sister-in-law, Judy Welch; nephew, Eric Welch; and nieces, Melinda Rogers and Dawn Chapman.
A joint service for family and friends will be held Friday, June 16 at 12:30pm at Georgia National Cemetery, 1080 Scott Hudgens Drive, Canton, GA 30114.
Memorial donations may be made to the charity of your choice.