Joseph D. Welch Jr.

[Age 79] He guided his children to college.

October 11, 2007

Joseph Donaldson Welch Jr., a retired postal worker who insisted his nine children graduate from high school and college, died of cancer Saturday at his daughter's Catonsville home. The Inner Harbor resident was 79.

Born in Baltimore and raised in the Sharp-Leadenhall section of South Baltimore, he attended city public schools. He earned spending money by carrying groceries for Cross Street Market customers.

He enlisted in the Air Force and served as a clerk. After service ended, he became a postal worker.

Family members said Mr. Welch, who began raising his family in Cherry Hill, moved them to Randallstown in 1972.

"He was the smartest man I ever met, yet he himself had little schooling," said his daughter, Annette Hicks of Catonsville. "He wanted something better for us."

"He was not the disciplinarian, but when it came to a report card, he stepped in," said another daughter, Stacey Taylor of Owings Mills.

Services will be held at 11:30 a.m. today at the Genesis Bible Fellowship, 6010 Reisterstown Road, where he was a member.

He is also survived by his wife of 58 years, the former Ida Allen; three sons, Joseph D. Welch III, Aaron Welch and Clayton Welch, all of Baltimore; four other daughters, Favia Hicks of Reisterstown, Dr. Charity Welch of Bowie, Robin Welch-Chester of Owings Mills and Jacqueline Higgins of Randallstown; a sister, Margaret Welch of Baltimore; 17 grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren.

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