Dr. Donald E. Welsh, 81, a prominent Churubusco veterinarian and community leader, passed away Dec. 28, 2010 at his residence with his family by his side. He had been diagnosed with cancer Sept. 2, 2010.
Dr. Welsh was born in Zanesville, Ohio Aug. 7, 1929, a son of Stanley and Doris (Vandenbark) Welsh and graduated from high school there. He had earned an associates degree from Michigan State University, and was engaged in farming until he entered Ohio State University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in agriculture and a doctorate in veterinary medicine.
Upon completing his education he worked for one year in Lynn, Ind. before moving to Churubusco and taking over the practice of former Churubusco veterinarian Dr. Bradley in 1963. His career as a veterinarian spanned a period of over 43 years, and he was the owner and operator of Churubusco Veterinary Hospital for 42 years, retiring in 2005. Following his retirement, he continued to work part time at the clinic now operated by his former associate, Dr. Neil Hanni.
In addition to his veterinary practice, he held memberships in a variety of civic and fraternal organizations. He was a member of Churubusco United Methodist Church, he was also past master of Churubusco Masonic Lodge 515 F&AM, and was a member of Churubusco Order of the Eastern Star 136; Mizpah Shrine in Fort Wayne; Whitley County Shrine Club; and Scottish Rite, Valley of Fort Wayne. For several years he served on the executive board of the Humane Society of Whitley County and the Churubusco Chamber of Commerce, and was named Churubusco Chamber of Commerce “Citizen of the Year” in 1999. He was a member of the Churubusco Rotary. He enjoyed playing golf and riding his bike. He rode several years in the Hilly Hundred bicycle ride.
On March 14, 1992, he was married in Churubusco to Darlene (Polick). She survives. Other surviving relatives include two sons, Brian (Tracy) Welsh of Greenwood, and Ronald (Donna) Welsh of Mooresville, N.C.; three stepchildren, Cynthia (Tom) Ritter of Oregon, Ohio, Kenneth Polick of Riverview, Fla. and Roger (Wynelle) Ulrich of Vacaville, Calif.; a sister, Marie (Russ) Biolin of Zanesville, Ohio; a brother, Robert Welsh of Mt. Pleasant, Mich; seven grandchildren, Audree (Chad) Ousley, Diana Welsh, Megan Welsh, Matt Welsh, Morgan Welsh, Delaney Welsh and Greyson Welsh; eight step-grandchildren, Christie Slaman, Brian Slaman, Elysia Ulrich, Zachary Ulrich, Allison Ulrich, Andrea Polick, Becca Polick, and Ben Polick. Also nieces Trudy Matz, Pam Derry, Deborah Welsh and Kellie Froelicher.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a son, George, June 26, 2009.
Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Friday in the Churubusco United Methodist Church, 750 N. Main Street with Pastor Corinne K. Boruff officiating. The family will receive friends from 2 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the church with a Masonic memorial service at 7:30 p.m. Interment will be in the Riverview Cemetery, South of Churubusco. For those who wish, memorials may be directed to the Churubusco United Methodist Church, or the Whitley County Humane Society,
The Sheets and Childs Funeral Home of Churubusco are entrusted with the services.
To leave an online condolence for the family in Dr. Welsh’s memory, log on to www.sheetsandchilds.net .