William Day Welch, Jr.

February 19, 1946 ~ November 15, 2020 (age 74)


William Day Welch Jr. was born February of 1946 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He was the son of the late William and Rachel Welch.  He was preceded in death by his sister Gwen McNeese and his nephew David (Skip) McNeese. He is survived by his sister Janet Beasley, his nephew Tarry Beasley IV, and his nieces Nina Wildes and Janet Lee McDowell.    If Bill could tell us his story, perhaps he would say that he had lived his 74 years just as he would have chosen to, until his passing on Nov 15, 2020.   Bill went from city planner, to staff photographer, to Unitarian minister, to railroad historian, and TV series connoisseur.  Bill always worked on social justice projects outside of his paying job. His calm demeanor belied a tenacity of purpose that could drive you crazy, but he got things done in his quest for change. We weren’t surprised when he went to Vanderbilt Divinity school and into the ministry.  He left with hope and a well-worn confidence in the future.  As he recalled, “I want to be a pastoral counselor and be involved in other people’s personal growth, and to sit with them in their pain.”  Bill lived in New York, Virginia, and Florida, but he always returned home to Tennessee to see his friends. Bill believed in and personally donated to Thistle Farms, a nonprofit social enterprise dedicated to helping women survivors recover and heal from prostitution, trafficking, and addiction. His family asks that if you are so moved, you support Thistle Farms by shopping at their online store of products made from survivor artisans or making a donation in his memory.  https://

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