PHOENIX: (602) 906-9600 | PEORIA: (623) 486-1955

Date of Birth: December 20, 1938

Date of Death: April 01, 2019

Gary Welsh was born and raised in Helena, Missouri, the first son of Wiley and Almeda Welsh. They moved to El Paso, Texas in 1955 where Gary entered his senior year of high school and met his lifelong friend Bill Young, who urged him to join the choir. Gary attended Texas Western College and worked part-time at a supermarket, then moved to Las Cruces, New Mexico and attended New Mexico State University, working his way through by singing and playing piano at the Holiday Inn. Accepting an opportunity to take voice lessons from Val Patacchi at Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri, Gary again moved and attended the University of Missouri while working at a service station. In Columbia he experienced love at first sight when he met Barbara. They married three months later and shared 53 wonderful years together. After finishing school he sang one summer with the St. Louis Municipal Opera Company and then purchased a Phillips 66 Station, which he sold after three years and moved back to El Paso where he and Barbara raised their family. There he managed a Furr’s Supermarket and then became supervisor of their chain of stores. Gary’s next career was as general manager of a chain of convenience stores, followed by supervising a chain of dry cleaners. With their children grown he and Barbara moved to Scottsdale, Arizona and purchased a Comet Cleaners store, later building a second. They sold the business and retired in Phoenix in 2008. During his working years he dabbled in painting portraits and continued singing, both as soloist and with various choral groups, performing annually for 5 years with a group doing excerpts from various Broadway musicals. Following his retirement Gary took up writing fiction and eventually published 5 books. His entire life was devoted both to his family and the work of the Church, serving on vestries or as senior warden wherever he lived, teaching Bible Study classes in several churches, and always singing in the choir. Following a long battle with cancer he passed away on April 1, 2019. He is survived by his wife Barbara, his children Robert Welsh, Anne Brandt, Jamie Johnson and Lisa Wolford, his sister Judith Hervey, his brother Roger Welsh, six grandchildren and one great-grandchild. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Richard Welsh, and his daughter Tamara Ashley.

Service Information

Celebration of Life Friday, April 12, 2019 at 2:00 PM St. Christopher's Episcopal Church 10233 W Peoria Ave Sun City, AZ 85351


In lieu of flowers, Gary's wish was that any memorial contribution be given to the Juvenile Diabetes Association.