Welch, Richard Arthur
April 15, 1935 - April 20, 2017
Richard Arthur “Dick” Welch of Dallas, Texas, passed away peacefully on April 20, 2017 with his wife Joyce and daughter Susan at his side. Dick was born on April 15, 1935 in Chicago, Illinois, the only son of Arthur and Bernice Welch. He was a 1952 graduate of Calumet High School in Chicago, attended the University of Chicago, and entered the US Army in 1955. Dick was honorably discharged from the Army in 1957 and married Joyce Anne Johnson of Chicago Heights, IL on April 27, 1957.
Dick was a pioneer in the young field of computer programming when he entered the business in the late 1950’s as a programmer for International Business Machines (IBM) in their Chicago office. As the industry expanded, Dick took the bold step of moving his family from Chicago to Dallas in 1969, following an opportunity with a relative newcomer known as Electronic Data Systems (EDS). At EDS, he expanded his expertise of the evolving mainframe platforms to support business needs and eventually went into business for himself under the company name of Dynamic Data Systems (DDS) until his retirement in 1997.
Always an advocate of higher education, Dick was a strong supporter both financially and in spirit of his children and grandchildren attending college. His financial support and encouragement has resulted in the successful completion thus far of six Bachelor’s degrees, three Master’s degrees, and one Doctor of Jurisprudence degree among his immediate family, with Dick in the audience cheering on every graduate.
Dick was an avid sports fan his entire life beginning with his undying loyalty to the Chicago White Sox and continuing to the end with the Chelsea football club in the UK. In the 70’s and 80’s he played, coached and refereed soccer in north Texas, cementing his love for the “beautiful game.” As a teenager in Chicago, Dick worked at the racetrack, the beginning of a lifelong interest in auto racing which continued at the Texas Motor Speedway where Dick could often be found watching NASCAR races.
As a young boy Dick had a love of dogs beginning with his first pet, a Boston terrier named Timmy. This love continued with a host of others most especially his Doberman pinscher, Jake, for which he felt a special affection going so far as to carry a photo of Jake in his wallet alongside those of his family. In addition to his dogs, a succession of cats enjoyed Dick’s affection over the years.
In retirement, Dick and Joyce purchased an RV and spent many happy years traveling all over the continent from Alaska to Mexico and all points in between, including numerous cross-country trips to visit their six children and their families. They also enjoyed several Caribbean Windjammer Cruises.
It was in his final years that Dick probably made the most indelible impression on his family. After years of being the hard-working provider, strong father and husband to a large and energetic family (which was a major change from his upbringing as the only child of a single mother), Dick took on his last and most endearing role – that of a patient and loving caregiver to his wife, Joyce. After her illness and subsequent declining health, the task of maintaining their household as well as helping Joyce with her daily routine fell to Dick. It was a task he managed heroically, earning the further respect and admiration of his children and extended family. The fact that Dick did this while fighting the cancer that would ultimately take his life made it even more remarkable. Dick’s was a life well-lived, and his family was his greatest accomplishment and source of pride.
Dick is survived by his loving wife of sixty years, Joyce, and by his six children, Richard Welch, Kenneth Welch (Sheri Welch), Susan Luna (Joe Luna), Steven Welch, Joanne McNulty (Kelly Driscoll), Daniel Welch (Sing Chao); grandchildren Elizabeth Welch (Carrie Woodruff), Marissa Young, Stephanie Culver (Cameron Culver), Zoe Welch, Alex Welch, Patrick McNulty, Benjamin Ackerman, and one great-grandchild, Carter Culver.
Dick was predeceased by his beloved mother, Bernice Welch, and his aunt and uncle, Evelyn and Jack Bennett, with whom he was particularly close, as well as numerous cousins, in-laws and lifelong friends.
The Welch Family will be receiving visitors beginning at 12:00 (Noon) until 1:00 pm with a Celebration of Life service starting at 1:00 pm on Saturday, April 29, 2017 in the Brooks Family Chapel of the North Dallas Funeral Home, 2710 Valley View Lane, Farmers Branch, Texas 75234.
Following the service there will be a procession to Restland Memorial Park, 13005 Greenville Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75243 where Dick will be laid to rest.
While any floral tributes are appreciated, the family suggests as an alternative that charitable donations in Dick’s name be made to the Prostate Cancer Foundation https://www.pcf.org/ or to a favorite charity.
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