William (Bill) E. Welch passed away on Aug. 20, 2023, in Tucson, Arizona. Bill was born on a farm near Mellette, Spink County South Dakota. He met and married the love of his life in 1948.
Bill was preceded in death by Elizabeth, his wife of 70 years, and a son, Pat. He was survived by his four children, eight grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren and many nieces, nephews and friends. He was a loving husband, dad, grandpa and great-grandpa.
Bill worked on farms, ranches and at Homestake Gold Mine in Lead (Deadwood), South Dakota. He moved with his family and friends to San Manuel, Arizona in 1955 and was hired by San Manuel Mine (Magma). He worked as a miner, operated a 20-ton locomotive, which he loved, and then went to the dispatch shack on crew 4, where he was known as “Mr. Bill”. He retired from the company in 1987. In 1966 he moved his family to their new home in Oracle.
Bill was a Scout Master for the Webelos and a coach for the Senior League teams in San Manuel and Oracle. He was a member of the Elks Club and helped start the Funsters Club in San Manuel. He helped his wife with the Oracle 4-H Club and also in the establishment and building of the Oracle Community Center. He was a mentor to many. Bill served in the National Guard in South Dakota and in the Army Reserves in Arizona.
Bill loved his family, friends, horses and dogs. He loved camping, hunting, knocking around in the mountains and desert. He loved camping so much he and his wife Liz, became Camp Hosts at the West Fork of the Black River for 20 plus years. There he met and made many new friends.
Bill had the gift of gab. He would talk to anyone who would listen.
Bill will be deeply missed by many.
A Celebration of Life will be held at the Elks Club in San Manuel on Sept. 8, 2023, 3-6 p.m.