Gerald J. Welch
Gerald Joseph Welch, 82 of New Milford, CT passed away peacefully, with his loving family at his side, at the Regional Hospice Center for Comfort Care & Healing in Danbury CT on December 1, 2017. For close to 30 years Gerry bravely fought and conquered, multiple bouts of cancer. A New Milford resident since 1968, Gerry was born on April 24, 1935, in New York, NY, to Joseph I. Welch and Anne Blasko Welch. Gerry grew up intrigued by how things worked. He enjoyed working on cars – even restoring his parents 1970 Plymouth Fury III several years ago. He was well known for his corny jokes among family and friends and for being the “Other Dad” for his children's’ friends. Always willing to lend a hand to anyone, he instilled that trait in his children – his perspective was that we are blessed as a family, and helping others when we can is just what we do.
Gerry served honorably in the United States Air Force from 1957 – 1963 (4 years Active Duty and 2 years in the reserves) as a radar technician at two different SAGE radar stations of Air Defense Command. First serving at Lockport Air Force Base and at then Hancock Field. SAGE coordinated data from all the stations to produce a single image of the airspace over the Country and controlled the NORAD response to air attacks. During his time in the service of our Country, he met the love of his life on Halloween night in 1959 at a USO Party. Gerry joked that Maureen “flew into his life on a broom and swept him off his feet.”
A mechanical engineer by trade, Gerry was a problem solver. He approached everything with an engineering lens. One such solution resulted in him being granted a United States Patent on December 20, 1977. Gerry loved taking his small sail boat on Candlewood Lake, but getting the boat off the top of the car by himself proved problematic. So, he did what he always did, figured out how to solve the problem. He designed, built and patented The Welch Loader – A one man car top boat loader. As part of the family’s 30 year business, Northeast Carpet & Flooring – Gerry served as the self-proclaimed “Vice President of Transportation” – joking that his job was to “go for this – or go for that” all while battling cancer over the years
An avid traveler with Maureen, they cruised the Caribbean and Mediterranean more times than can be counted. His favorite trip was to Bora Bora and Tahiti. Last month they took a trip to the Grand Canyon, which was on his bucket list. Gerry also loved his rescue pups Latte and Cassie and rescue grand pups –Tucker, Dot, & Cooper who he delighted when he took them for walks around Lover’s Leap State Park or just sitting in the house or yard together. His greatest joy was spending time with his family and friends, and watching the UConn Women’s Basketball teams success over the years
Gerry is survived by his loving family, including his wife of 56 years, Maureen (Hennegan) Welch, his daughter Mary Chinn and husband Bob and his son Joe Welch and partner Diane. He is also survived by his cousin Joseph Strauch and sisters and brothers in law, Rosemary & Dennis O’Grady, Mary & Karl Guidotti and Michael & Patty Hennegan, Sue Hennegan, Dorothy Hennegan and Sonny Trimeloni, as well as many nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his parents and brothers in law Dennis Hennegan and Tucker Hennegan and sister in law Shelia Trimeloni
Always looking out for his family, Gerry’s wishes were that there will be no calling hours, he said – “It won’t matter to me and I know it will be too hard on Neen and the kids.” Funeral services will be private.
Donations, if desired, to celebrate his life and legacy may be made to Angels Among Us Animal Rescue, P.O. Box 613, Brighton, TN 38011. http://www.angelsamongusanimalrescue.org/donations.html or Regional Hospice Center for Comfort Care & Healing, 30 Milestone Road, Danbury, CT 06810 https://regionalhospicect.org/make-a-gift/. Jowdy-Kane Funeral Home, 9-11 Granville Ave., Danbury is in charge of arrangements.