Funeral services for William “Bill” Welch, 86, of Portales, will be held at 10:00 AM, Mon., Aug. 23, 2021 at the Third and Kilgore Church of Christ with Rev. Wesley McAfee officiating, assisted by Rev. Brian Tabor. Burial will follow in the Portales Cemetery with “Bubby” Welch, Jeff Welch, David Welch, Ronnie Welch, Josh Gandy and Dale Welch serving as pallbearers. All of Bill’s old trucking friends will serve as honorary pallbearers.
William Roger Welch, known to virtually everyone as “Bill,” was born Aug. 27, 1934 in Hope, NM to the home of Mexie Sue (Davis) and James Hunter Welch, and died Aug. 19, 2021 in Portales, NM. The Welch family moved to a farm west of Portales when Bill was just a boy. He began driving a truck when he was just a teenager. He began drinking coffee and eating pie at the Lilac Park Café in Portales where he met a young lady, Joyce Ridley, who was working as a waitress. One night on the way home from the movie, he quipped, “You wouldn’t marry an old boy like me.” To which she answered, “I sure would!” That was in Sept. of 1954, and they were married less than a month later on Oct. 1. They had been married almost 67 years at the time of his death.
Bill drove trucks for a living all of his life. In 1968, he and his brothers formed Welch Trucking, and in 1969, they built their building. At one time they were running 33 trucks. Bill finally retired in 2007, and he and his brother, Johnny sold the business to their sons.
For many years, Bill had a small “ranch” south of Portales, where he enjoyed raising cattle and farmed wheat for their feed. Along with that he kept horses to use for hunting. Hunting and fishing were passions his whole life long.
In 2000, he and his wife took a summer long trip with their grandchildren to Alaska where they fished for salmon and halibut. Along the way, they stopped to see all the sights. One night they even drove 100 miles out of their way just to eat at a restaurant they had heard about from a friend. For many years, he and his wife had a camper and a boat and all the paraphernalia to take all the family to the lake. In 2019, he and his wife were named as Pioneers of the Year for Roosevelt County.
He is survived by his wife, Joyce of their home; his son and daughter-in-law, Daron “Bubby” and Crystal Welch of Portales; and a daughter, Karen Marshall of Acuff, TX; three grandchildren, Teresa Marie Welch, William “Dale” Welch and Paige (Josh) Gandy; two great-grandchildren, Jaylee and Colt Gandy; a brother, Johnny Welch of Portales and a sister, Faye Cook of Diamond Springs, CA. He was preceded in death by his parents, four brothers, Wayne, Joe, W.D. “Shorty” and Jim, three sisters, Betty, Mary and Jamie and by his son-in-law, Chris Marshall.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of William "Bill" Welch, please visit our floral store.