Marianne B. WelchOctober 3, 1926 ~ January 10, 2018 (age 91)
Marianne Barcus Welch, a long-time resident of San Benito, passed away Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, at the age of 91. She was born Oct. 3, 1926, in Dallas. She is survived by her husband, best friend and soul-mate Richard H. Welch, whom she married 68 years ago. Mrs. Welch is also survived by son Andy Welch (Lisa) of Georgetown, Texas, and daughter Luanne Ballenger (Tommy) of San Benito. She is also survived by her “adopted” foreign exchange student daughter Doris Ronnblom of Stockholm, Sweden. Three cherished grandchildren and three great-grandchildren—who called her Grandma or Mimi—also survive Mrs. Welch. The grandchildren are Alison (Ryan) Salinas of Houston; Creighton (Michelle) Welch of Houston; and Cody Welch of Durham, North Carolina. The three great-grandchildren are Emma and Ellie Salinas, and Henry Welch, all of Houston. She is also survived by her sister-in-law Jackie Kennedy Welch of Texas City. Preceding Mrs. Welch in death were her parents Berta and J.M. Barcus; her brother John Mac Barcus; her sister-in law Mary Lou Barcus; and her brother-in-law Jesse Gardner Welch. Other relatives proceeding her in death were Mary and Bill Saxon.
Marianne Barcus graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Southwestern University in Georgetown, where she met her future husband, and completed post-graduate studies at Columbia University in New York City. After their marriage in 1949, Marianne Welch began her career, working in Waco for what was then known as the state Child Welfare Board, while her new husband continued his education at Baylor University. Soon thereafter, Mr. and Mrs. Welch moved to San Benito, and made it their home for the next seven decades. While Dick Welch operated the family’s automobile dealership, Marianne focused her attention on the couple’s two children, staying involved in their educational, musical, dancing, school, and Boy and Girl Scouting activities, among other things. As the children grew older, Mrs. Welch began teaching elementary school at Los Fresnos, retiring in 1988. The Welches have worshiped at the Chapel by the Sea on South Padre Island in recent years, and they are also members of the First United Methodist Church of San Benito. Mrs. Welch was a longtime member of the PEO women’s service organization and the San Benito Historical Society. She had a voracious appetite for reading and writing; loved to collect antiques; and had a passion for music and the arts—especially when they involved her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She claimed to always have a suitcase packed for travel, and was excited when Southwest Airlines began service to the Rio Grande Valley. Born with a “green thumb,” Marianne loved flowering plants, and hers was always the most beautiful yard in the neighborhood. She was also a skilled baker, and never failed to have homemade cookies, pies, cakes and bread waiting when the grandchildren and great-grandchildren came to visit. Her pie crust was of award-winning quality.
A visitation for Mrs. Welch is scheduled for 6-8 p.m on Sunday, January 14, at the San Benito Funeral Home, 1400 West Highway 77, in San Benito. The family will hold a private, graveside service for their beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. In lieu of flowers, the family invites you to make a memorial contribution to the PEO organization, the Chapel by the Sea on South Padre Island, the San Benito Historical Society, the Sunny Glen Children’s Home of San Benito, or the charity of your choice.