James T Welch was born in Great Barrington, MA on August 6, 1928 to James and Louise (Benedict) Welch. He attended local schools and upon completion of high school he enlisted in the United States Coast Guard. On July 6th, 1950, while stationed near Newport, RI, he assisted in rescuing a young girl from drowning. For this event, he was awarded the Silver Life Saving Medal for heroic action from the Secretary of Treasury.
After his honorable discharge from the Coast Guard, Jim returned to Great Barrington and was employed by the New England Electric System (now National Grid) remaining there as the Stores Manager for 35 years, retiring in 1989.
On August 1, 1959 he married Mary Alice Ward. They moved to Sheffield, MA in 1961 where they raised their family; Jim Jr., Mary Ellen and Katherine. Mary Ellen and Jim Jr. were stricken with cancer and both children passed away in 1988 and 1998 respectively. Katherine Turner lives in Jamestown, RI with her husband John and daughter Sarah.
Jim was an active member of Our Lady of the Valley Church in Sheffield, especially under pastors Rev Francis Sullivan and Rev Frederick Heberle. For 25 years he was responsible for the counting and recording of the Sunday collections.
Jim enjoyed playing golf as a member of Egremont Country Club and later a member of Wyantenuck Country Club. His golfing partner in the Men’s League was his son Jim Jr. They enjoyed sports together and traveled to Yankee Stadium as well as to other sports venues.
Jim and Mary Alice travelled each March to Jekyll Island, Georgia to enjoy golfing.
Jim was a considerate, kind person who thoroughly enjoyed visits from Sarah, his granddaughter and he had a soft spot for John and Katherine’s pets. Jim will be greatly missed.
Funeral services for James T. Welch will be held with a Liturgy of Christian Burial on Saturday March 24 at 11:00 AM in Our Lady of the Valley Church in Sheffield. Burial will follow in St. Peter’s Cemetery in Great Barrington. Family will receive friends on Saturday March 24 from 9:30 to 10:30 AM at the BIRCHES-ROY FUNERAL HOME 33 South Street Great Barrington MA 01230. In lieu of flowers expressions of sympathy in James’ memory may be made to either the Mary Ellen Welch Memorial Scholarship or the Berkshire Rattlers Hockey Program in care of the funeral home. Condolences may be made through birchesroyfuneralservices.com.