John William Welch, 86, of Independence, KS passed through Heaven’s gates on February 7, 2023, cared for in his final days by his family. John was born in Chattanooga TN on December 29, 1936 to Herman E, Welch, Sr. and Hattie McNabb Welch. He spent his childhood and youth in a little bungalow on Tremont St, making wonderful memories with his beloved parents, his older brother Herman, Jr. and playmates he could name with fondness to the end. While in junior high school, he joined the choir of his home church, First Cumberland Presbyterian Church. From there he never stopped singing to the glory of God, and for the entertainment of his fellow man.
John obtained his education in Chattanooga Public Schools, at (now) Bethel University, Memphis Theological Seminary, Vanderbilt University, and Florida State University. His career, paid or volunteer, was as varied as his many talents; pastor, music minister, college music instructor, legal editor, Bible teacher, choir member and director, and after he was officially retired, picker at Amazon Tul1 in Coffeyville, KS. While living in Tallahassee, FL he was a faithful member of the Trinity United Methodist Church choir, where he forged numerous deep and lasting friendships. He also became a full time community theater performer, appearing in productions with Entertainment Plus, Tallahassee Community College, Quincy Music Theater, and Theatre Ala Carte. He was a founding member of the Tallahassee Community Chorus. After moving to Kansas in 1999, he immediately joined the choir of First Presbyterian Church in Independence, and the Bartlesville Choral Society in Bartlesville, OK.
Wherever John lived or worked, he humbly shared his love and knowledge of God’s word, his respect for humanity, and of course music, with everyone he encountered. He was the quintessential southern gentleman and rarely met a stranger. Once his health began to limit even the activities he valued most, attending church and singing, he continued to do his best, singing with the choir and even preaching on occasion, from his wheelchair. John leaves behind his beloved wife of thirty-two years, Karen, of the home, his children, Dawn Albritton (Brett) and Debra MacDonald ( Doug) of Tallahassee, FL, Kit Pasternak (Dan) and Chris Ferris of Independence KS. To honor his memory, he also leaves five grandchildren, Clinton Albritton (Laura), Meagan MacDonald, Kadie MacDonald, Drew Pasternak, and Lauren Pasternak, and three greatgranddaughters, Lily and Brinley Albritton and Emma Hall, all of whom were much loved and a source of great pride. The family plans to hold a private memorial at a later date in Chattanooga, TN. In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to First Presbyterian Church of Independence for the Deacon’s Fund, PO Box 612, Independence, KS 67301, and Harry Hynes Hospice, 313 S Market St. Wichita KS, 67202. John’s final care was entrusted to Potts Chapel of Independence.