Col. Darrell G. Welch, USAF, age 96, passed away on January 13, 2015. He was born on March 13, 1918 in Mills County, TX, third child of Charles & Faye Lucas Welch.
From humble beginnings Darrell survived being thrown from a horse, a rattlesnake bite, diphtheria, a blow to the head with an ax and then he lost his mother by the age of 10. Raised with assistance from relatives he attended Midland High and UT at the height of the Depression. War clouds loomed and Darrell joined the Army Air Corps and became an Ace flying P-38s. He married his sweetheart Lucile Ragsdale before flying across the Atlantic in Operation Bolero and then Operation Torch-- the invasion of North Africa. He rose from 1st Lt to Major and took command of the 27th Fighter Squadron., receiving the Air Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross and Silver Star. After the war he returned to UT to finish his degree in petroleum engineering, ultimately receiving an MBA. The Air Force called him back and after 30 years on active duty, he retired as a Col. in 1970. Two days later he began teaching management at San Antonio College for 10 years. He then volunteered for 25+ years at Northeast Baptist Hospital directing patients, rehabbing wheelchairs and spreading sunshine.
Darrell was a role model, proponent and underwriter for children, grandchildren and others pursuing an education. "D" won dozens of golf tournaments during a 62 year love affair with the game including 3 confirmed holes in one! He was known for his boundless sense of humor and ability to come up with the perfect joke or "shaggy dog" story for any occasion. He also loved the game of bridge. Through bridge he met his devoted wife Madeline following 67 years of marriage to Lucile. Together they traveled extensively, pursued fine dining and played games with their multitude of friends and family.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Lucile Welch; daughter, Deanna Christensen; and grandson, Michael Wesley Daggett.
Col. Welch is survived by his second wife, Madeline Welch; children, Darrell Welch Jr., Ginny Dameron & husband Mark and John R. Welch & wife Tomi; 5 grandchildren; 8 great grandchildren; brother, Buster Welch; sisters, Nann McCoy and Beth Joy; and numerous other relatives.
Visitation- 5-8 pm, Wednesday, January 21, 2015 at Sunset Funeral Home.
Funeral - 9 am, Thursday, January 22, 2015 at Sunset Funeral Home.
Graveside 10:15 am at Ft. Sam Houston National Cemetery with Military Honors.
Reception following at Ft. Sam Golf Club
Condolences may be offered at www.sunsetfuneralhomesa.com
In lieu of flowers, contributions to the charity of ones choice.