William Albert Welsh, city firefighter, veteran

February 10, 2009|By FREDERICK N. RASMUSSEN

William Albert "Hound Dog" Welsh, a retired Baltimore firefighter and World War II veteran, died Tuesday of complications from dementia at Carroll Hospice's Dove House in Westminster. The longtime Sykesville resident was 83.

Mr. Welsh was born and raised in Woodbine and attended Carroll County public schools until leaving after the death of his father to help support his family.

During World War II, he served in the Army, attaining the rank of sergeant.

Mr. Welsh, who joined the city Fire Department in 1954, was assigned to Truck 2 Company on Fayette Street near Paca Street, where he was a hook and ladder driver.

Family members said he was given the nickname of "Hound Dog" by fellow firefighters after he listened expressionless, with a hound dog-like face, while an officer gave him driving instructions to a fire.

Mr. Welsh retired in 1979, family members said.

He was an active member of Firefighters Local Union 734.

Mr. Welsh was a life member of the Owings Mills Post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion Post in Sykesville and Moose Lodge 1381.

He was an Orioles and NASCAR fan and enjoyed playing poker.

His wife of 14 years, the former Mildred Nickoles, died in 1981.

Services were held Friday.

Surviving are two sons, William K. Welsh Sr. and Thomas J. Welsh, both of Altoona, Pa.; a daughter, Eileen Mayne of Finksburg; two sisters, Bessie Turnbaugh of Westminster and Pearl Russell of Linthicum; seven grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. Since 1985, he had been separated from Thelma Welsh, and an earlier marriage to the former Janet E. Gramly ended in divorce.

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