ASHLAND, Ohio — Eugene E. Welch, 89, a lifelong resident of rural Polk, passed away Feb. 14 at the Hospice House in Ashland after a brief illness.
Born Sept. 13, 1921, he was the son of Kent E. and Lela (Smith) Welch. He was a 1939 graduate of Polk High School. He served in the U. S. Army 814th Military Police Company in the Philippines during World War ll. He served as an honor guard for General Dwight Eisenhower and struck out Joe Gargiola, who visited the camp with a touring USO professional baseball team.
He married Esther McDanel June 4, 1949. He began farming with his father and farmed more than 50 years with his brother Dean on the home farm, which was in the family since 1867. They developed a herd of registered Holsteins with the U-Dean prefix. The farm was recognized for achievements in crop production, efficiency, dairy production, Holstein breeding and most recently, the Horizon Award for a lifetime of dedication to soil and water conservation and Ohio Conservation farm family of the year.
Eugene was an 80-year member and deacon of the Polk Church of Christ. He served on the Ashland County Soil and Water Conservation Board, the Ohio Holstein Board, Ashland County Farm Bureau Board, Ashland County Extension Advisory Committee, Landmark (now Town and Country) Board and Ashland County Holstein Board and Dairy Service Unit.
He was on the Northern Ohio Breeders Young Sire Committee and served a number of years as a delegate to the National Holstein Convention. He enjoyed Ashland County and Ohio State University sports.
He and his wife traveled on agricultural tours to many states and to Canada, Holland, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, England, Scotland, Australia and New Zealand.
He is survived by his wife; daughters Karen, of Polk, and Patricia Topa of Ashland; son Scott of Windermere, Fla.; and four grandchildren. He is also survived by his sisters Lorene Gardner of Ashland; Ercel Swindaman of Ashland; and brother Dean of Polk.
He was preceded in death by his parents, and sisters Mary Louise Smith and Grace Gardner. Funeral services are Feb. 19 at the Denbow, Primm, Kemery Funeral Home at Ashland, Ohio with Ed Graves, minister. Interment is in the Polk Cemetery where full military honors will be conducted by the Ashland Veterans Honor Guard.
Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of North Central Ohio, 1050 Dauch Drive, Ashland, OH 44805 or to the Polk Church of Christ, P.O Box 45, Polk, OH 44866. Online condolences may be shared on the funeral home website at www.dpkfh.com