Sharon Farley Welch
Sharon Farley Welch was born at home Oct 19, 1931 to Phil and Esther (Strohmeier) Farley in Colby, Kansas. She was raised in Wichita Falls, TX and graduated from Wichita Falls High School. She attended Midwestern University graduating with a degree in Fine Arts in 1953 which led to her first assignment, teaching fine a…read more
Sharon Farley Welch was born at home Oct 19, 1931 to Phil and Esther (Strohmeier) Farley in Colby, Kansas. She was raised in Wichita Falls, TX and graduated from Wichita Falls High School. She attended Midwestern University graduating with a degree in Fine Arts in 1953 which led to her first assignment, teaching fine arts in Bowie, TX. While there she chaperoned the high school seniors on their class train trip to New York. After a few years teaching she returned to Wichita Falls to work at the hospital. She met and began dating a policeman and Midwestern geology student named John Welch. Upon graduation he took a job in Lafayette, LA and he couldn’t bear the thought of leaving without her. He proposed and they were married on Thanksgiving Day 1957 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Wichita Falls.
In Lafayette Sharon was a wife and home maker learning to pack Po’ Boy sandwiches for her husband who was frequently working offshore. She became pregnant and gave birth to her first son John Patrick Farley Welch. As was common in those days the family was soon on the move to another assignment, this time in Brookhaven, MS where Andrew Murphy Welch was born, then to Tyler, TX where she gave birth to Steven Martin Welch and in 1964 to Midland and the birth of her fourth and last son Charles Joseph Welch. She later suffered a miscarriage of what would have been her first daughter. Raising four boys was a challenge and she said she’d moved enough, it was time to stay put in Midland.
She briefly worked in downtown Midland for Humble Oil, then stayed home with the four boys but in 1969 she joined the Texas Education Agency at the Region 18 Service Center where she worked as a media specialist and accreditation specialist primarily in the Big Bend area. Region 18 is the largest in the state covering over 37,000 square miles and she traveled to Big Bend frequently, loving the drive, the vibe, the desert, the people and the beauty of the region. Concurrently she enrolled at UTPB and earned a Master’s Degree in Education to further her career. She served on several committees studying dropout rates in the region and wrote grants to help fund more study for possible solutions. She retired from Region 18 in 1997 after 28 years of service.
With four hungry boys and their often hungry friends, she began a ritual of cooking a pot of pinto beans with a ham hock every Saturday and a pot roast and potatoes every Sunday. Anyone was welcome, so the house was filled with boys coming in and around all day. As the sons started families of their own this ritual continued well into her 80’s and Lord knows she fed a multitude of people.
She relished her role as a Grandmother, taking the name “Muzzy”, teaching her grandchildren artistry and creativity, the beauty of books and reading. She shared a wonderful relationship her daughters-in-law who provided her a special bond that her sons could not provide.
She loved cookbooks, an overly aged steak well done with lots of salt, cigarettes, coffee, breakfast, driving, travelling, the cool mountainous air of Ruidoso, the modest camp at Lake Brownwood, the Apple Macintosh, her iPad and iPhone so she could keep up with current events and her grandkids.
Sharon spent many hours over many years volunteering in the Midland community and serving on various boards including the Midland Association of Retired School Personnel, state committees for Texas Retired Teachers, the Permian Basin Historical Society, West Texas Writers Association, AARP (they paid for the travel!), delivered Meals on Wheels for 20 years (and often took her grandkids), Commemorative Air Force, and the Petroleum Museum. At her home Parish of St Ann’s, where she was a member for 55 years, she served as a Lector, participated in the Acts Retreats, the Altar Society, the Martha Committee and Women’s Bible Study.
Sharon was preceded in death by her husband of 60 years, John, whom she faithfully cared for until he passed away in 2017; her father and mother, her sister Peggy Pappas, and grandson Daniel Welch.
She is survived by her sister Kay Bryan of Grandfield, OK; sons Pat Welch (Sara) of Midland, TX, Andy Welch (Barb) of Albuquerque, NM, Steve Welch of Midland, and Charles Welch of Midland; her grandchildren Elaine Connell (Cameron) of Midland, Diana Welch (Dominic) of Midland, Lucas Welch also of Midland; Michael Welch of Dallas, TX, Nick Welch of Fort Leonard Wood, MO, and Katie Welch of Albuquerque, NM; Steven Welch of Midland; and dozens of nieces and nephews.
Mom was the most loving, caring and comforting woman. She could make you feel loved, at total peace with just a few tender words and her gentle touch. She would cradle you in her arms and all your worries were soon vanished. Her faith in the Lord was deep and although that faith was tested many times in her life, she never wavered. She raised her sons to be faithful in the Lord Jesus as well, and she was rewarded with mercy and peace for them and their families.
She was a loyal friend, enjoying many wonderful relationships with people at work, at church, in volunteering and in her neighborhood. According to one friend she had a tenacious thirst for knowledge and an uncanny ability to organize, whether it was for an organization or presentation in one of the many endeavors with which she was involved.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00 am on Friday, July 19, 2019 at St. Ann’s Catholic Church. A Rosary will take place at 7:00 pm on Thursday, July 18, 2019 at St. Ann’s Catholic Church.
Arrangements are under the direction of Nalley-Pickle & Welch Funeral Home and Crematory of Midland, Texas. Online condolences may be made at www.npwelch.com.
Date: July 18, 2019
Time: 7/18/19 7:00 pm
St. Ann’s Catholic Church, Midland
Date: July 19, 2019
Time: 7/19/19 11:00 am
St. Ann’s Catholic Church, Midland
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