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Rev. Paul Welch, 79

Rondo  Paul  Welch, 79 years, passed to heaven on May 27, 2012 at Mercy Hospital, Springfield, Mo., with his family by his side.

Paul was born Oct. 24, 1932 in Douglas County, Mo., to Marion Laswell and Nellie Mae (Rippee) Welch. He was a graduate of Ava High School.

Paul was a lifelong resident of Douglas County, Mo. On May 12, 1950, Paul and Alice Porter were united in marriage in Wasola, Mo.

Paul was a retired rotary driller for over the road highway construction. He also ran his own backhoe and dump truck business and was the minister of the Happy Home Freewill Baptist Church in Ava and had pastored there for 16 years.  Paul enjoyed visiting with people. He also enjoyed selling watermelons, hunting, fishing and tinkering with fine mechanical instruments like cameras and watches. He adored his family and especially spending time with his grandchildren and his church family.

Paul was preceded in death by his parents, a grandson, Marty Welch, one brother, Marvin Welch, two sisters, Irene Lawrence and Mildred Welch.

Paul is survived by his wife, Alice Welch, Ava, Mo.; four children and their spouses, Harold and Edwina Welch, Joe and Theresa Welch and Patsy and Larry Stewart, all of Ava, Mo., and Randall Welch, New York City, N.Y.; 12 grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren; one sister, Lucille Strait, Fruitland, Fla.; and one aunt, Opal Singleton, Ava, Mo.; a sister-in-law, Irene Welch, Ava; many nieces, nephews and a host of other relatives and friends.

Funeral services for Paul will be Thursday, May 31, at 2 p.m. in the Clinkingbeard Funeral Home, Ava, Mo., with burial in the Hilo Cemetery. Visitation will be Wednesday, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the funeral home. Officiating will be Rev. Marvin Loftin and Brother Dan Cottengim. Memorials may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Online condolences may be made to www.clinkingbeardfuneral