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Desmond H. Welch

Sep. 23, 1927 - Apr. 28, 2022

Date of Service: May 6, 2022

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Desmond H. Welch (age 94) has honorably completed his sojourn here on earth, and returned to his heavenly home after succumbing to pancreatic cancer on Thursday, April 28, 2022.

Des was born on September 23, 1927, in Bancroft, Idaho, to Heber Lorenzo Welch, and Sarah Welch (no relation), the youngest of three children.

The family lived in the Lund, and Bancroft area during his formative years, close to his mother’s Welch side of the family, where he enjoyed the closeness of aunts, uncles and cousins. The family later moved to Fort Hall, Idaho, where his father tried to maintain a dry farm. Conditions proved to be unsustainable and the family moved to Salmon Idaho, where they stayed for the rest of his grade-school years.

His family later moved to Ketchum, Idaho, where his father worked for the Sun Valley Company. Des always said it was an ideal place for a young boy to grow up. He, with his cousin, walked to beaver dams to fish, climbed mountains in summers, and skied and ice skated in the winter. As a teenager he regularly caddied at the Sun Valley Golf Course to earn spending money .

As a sophomore in high school, during the height of WWII, the family moved to Ogden, Utah, where his father took a job working for a business that supported the war effort. He attended Ogden High School until his senior year, when he decided to return to Ketchum to live with an aunt, uncle and cousins. He graduated from Hailey High School in 1945.

Right after high school, Des and his best friend Scott, enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He was only 17 years old so he had to fib about his age. He was schooled and served as an ‘Electrician’s Mate 3rd Class’, aboard the USS Uvalde, an attack vessel and cargo carrier. He totally loved his service in the Navy, and saw many of the Pacific islands, as well as China and much of the Orient. He was honorably discharged after serving three years.

After the Navy, Des attended college at Idaho State University, and majored in music. As a student he was asked to organize and serve as the director and C.O. of the 45th Army Band in Pocatello. To do so he became a member of the U.S. Army Reserve.

While attending school he (again with his best friend Scott), boarded in a private home in Pocatello. The owner of the home had a beautiful daughter, Verla Gene Smith, with whom Des became acquainted. He very soon was smitten with her, they fell in love, and were married on February 2, 1950, in Blackfoot, Idaho. Their marriage was later solemnized in the Idaho Falls Temple.

After graduation, Des and Verla, with their little family (Randy and Pamela Gene) ended up in Heyburn, Idaho, where he was hired to teach band, and some classes of government, math and science. They ended up loving the town, and the people so much, that they made it their permanent home for the next 58 years. During those years they added two more children to their family; two sons, Cary Brian, and Korvan Blake.

As well as teaching school, Des enjoyed playing trumpet in dance bands. He played for many years in a small group known as ‘The Dancemen’. Finding it a challenge to raise his family solely on a teacher’s salary, he decided to venture into the business world. In 1972, along with a partner, he purchased two small fast food drive-in restaurants in Burley. They were a means to an end, when in 1976 he was able to open a small music store called Welch Music. As time went on, two of his sons Randy and Cary, joined in the business. They now operate stores located in Burley, Twin Falls, and Boise. Des spent many hours repairing broken and damaged band instruments. He continued repairing hundreds and hundreds of instruments for schools and students into his 90s.

His beloved Verla died in December of 2002, and eight years later, he decided to sell his home in Heyburn and move to Twin Falls. Doing so saved his daily drive to work in the repair shop located in the Twin Falls music store.

After being alone for eight years, and moving to live in Twin Falls, a bright light entered his life, named Bonnie Lewis Christensen. Both, having lost their spouse, decided life was better when they were together. They married in 2011, and have lived eleven very happy years together. Both families have been so delighted they found one another.

The abiding force in his life was his profound love and devotion to God and His Son, Jesus Christ. An active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he served in many callings over the years. Some of which included; being a Gospel Doctrine teacher, Young Men’s President, High Councilor, and serving twice as Bishop in two Heyburn Wards. He was true to the principles of his belief, and was an example of moral uprightness, faith, kindness, service and caring for his family, friends, students and community.

He is survived by his loving wife Bonnie; children, Randy (Jackie Briscoe) Welch, Cary (Lynette Walker) Welch, and Pamela Gene Spaulding; 13 grandchildren, and 36 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Bobbie; a sister, Elzada; wife, Verla; a son, Korvan; and a granddaughter, Jamie Spaulding.

Both Des and his family are deeply grateful for the loving and tender care he received from his St. Luke’s Hospice team. Each one brought expert care, comfort and a cheerful spirit into his home and made the navigation of his final journey much easier.

The funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, May 6, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Twin Falls 7th Ward, located at 847 Eastland Drive North in Twin Falls, with Bishop Cornell officiating. Burial will follow at Riverside Cemetery in Heyburn, Idaho.

Family and friends will be received at the church from 5 until 7 p.m. Thursday, May 5, and from 10 a.m. until 10:45 a.m. Friday, prior to the funeral service.

A live webcast of the Funeral Service will be available and maintained at the following link: https://youtu.be/A2PIAPdzRfw.

Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Rasmussen-Wilson Funeral Home of Burley.

Condolences for Desmond H. Welch

Comments may be screened and removed by the staff as deemed appropriate.

From Jan Banner:
What a wonderful man! I know he touch many lives. I hope your family finds comfort at this time. I'm sure there is a grand reunion now. Prayers with your families.
From Kent Condie:
Sorry to hear about the passing of your father. My thoughts and prayers go out to your family
From Joan Harper Majors:
What a wonderful tribute to your dad. I hope you’ll find peace in knowing he is with loved ones and that his legacy lives on in each of you.
From Robyn Waddoups:
I am praying for the family.
From Kent and Debbie Sager:
Cary and Lynette, Debbie and I send our deepest sympathies and thoughts your way with the passing of "dad". You have a treasure chest of memories to sustain you till you meet again. Please know the tugs at the heartstring today will become warm reassurance of the family existence and love for the eternities. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Kent & Debbie S
From Candace Malmstrom:
I have so many sweet memories of and with my grandpa. I can see him now in the blue denim shirt and white leather gloves he wore when gardening. He bought me a pair of those gloves one summer to wear when helping him. Yep, he was a smart one, I felt like I had up-leveled and earned the privilege to help. I'm pretty sure we picked many bushels of apples and weeded rows of the garden. You know he was good company when a day of garden work was fun and a memory worth revisiting. I will miss him and do know that I was privileged to have him as my grandfather.
From Daryl McCombs:
Bishop Welch is one of the finest men I know! He will be missed, but I am sure has gone on to a great work on the the other side and will do much good there. I remember him for his kindness, goodness, and sense of humor. He is a very Christlike man.
From Connie Harkness :
I had Mr Welch in Jr high and I remember thinking he was the tallest person I had ever seen. Great teacher who was so kind and great man with kids. I will always remember him telling our class on November 22 ,1963 that President Kennedy was shot in Dallas Tx. And the sadness in his face and concern in his voice. My condolences to the Welch family. Randy sorry for your loss.
From Terri Pfeifer :
What a great band teacher. He will be missed by many. He touched many lives. Condolences to family and friends
From Brenda (Jackson) Cooper:
I have so many wonderful memories of your dad as a band instructor, a Bishop, and a person who made this world better by being in it. My prayers for all of the family at this time. May you know your dad was loved and will be remembered for his kindness. He lived life with enthusiasm just like he conducted every performance in band. He lived and loved life with enthusiasm!
From Scott Winn :
What a great man. So easy going. My condolences to Cary Welch.
From Jeffrey Fackrell:
I always enjoyed band in 6th grade. A fine gentleman!
From Whitney:
I remember spending many hours in the back of the store with grandpa, cleaning instruments while he repaired them. He would make the time go by with lots of stories, his wry humor always making me laugh. I treasure those moments, and always remember grandpa with a smile.
From Stephanie U :
ToMr. Welch family. This is so sad. I had Mr welch in the 7rh grade at west minico 1978-9 for math and history. He was cool. Will be missed deeply. Thank Mr W. And thank you father God for the singing angel
From Amber Glover (Welch):
May my grandpa Welch RIP. May god be with the rest of the family.

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