Bernard J. Welsh

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Bernard J. Welsh, 85, of Waukon, Iowa, died Wednesday, Oct. 28, at Thornton Manor in Lansing, Iowa.

Bernard James Welsh was born on July 7, 1935, along with his twin sister Bernadine, in Waukon, Iowa, to Patrick and Mary (Zoll) Welsh. He attended school at French Creek 5th through 8th grade and graduated from St. Patrick Catholic School in Waukon in 1953. Bernard joined the Army Reserves in 1957, and spent six months of active duty at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, followed by six years active reserves. In 1960, he met the love of his life, Carolyn Beck of Lansing, Iowa, while attending John Deere Day. They were married on Dec. 29, 1962, at St. Mary’s Lycurgus Catholic Church in rural Waukon. Bernard and Carolyn raised livestock and crops on their family farm. Their children were actively involved in 4H and enjoyed exhibiting at the Allamakee County Fair. John Deere tractors and soil conservation were very important to Bernard and it was always his hope to leave the land in better condition than when he began farming. Bernard was a Pioneer sales rep for 14 years. He served on the REC and Dairyland Power Board of Directors. He was involved in the community by serving on the Waukon Rural Fire Board, Waukon Ambulance Board, and as the French Creek Township clerk. Faith was important to Bernard and he was a devoted member of St. Patrick Catholic Church and St. Mary’s Lycurgus Catholic Church, where he received the sacraments of Baptism, First Holy Communion, Confirmation, and Matrimony, and served on the Parish Council. Bernard enjoyed hunting, playing euchre, traveling, and attending his grandchildren’s events. He loved watching the Iowa Hawkeyes and Milwaukee Brewers, Ford pickups, raising farm cats, and collecting John Deere toy tractors. Bernard enjoyed visits with family and friends and for many of them, he had a special nickname.

Bernard is survived by his children: Sherry (Jim) Ariss of Prairie du Chien, Michelle Welsh of Waukon, and Brian (April) Welsh of Elgin, Ill.; 10 grandchildren: Jaimie (Demetri) Andrews, Courtney (Nic) Carlson, Lindsey Ariss (Dustin Carpenter), Cassidy Welsh,  Brendan (Brittney) Guider, Dustan Guider, and Carson, Chace, Jack, and Brielle Welsh; four great-grandchildren: Maya and Elyse Andrews and Maisy and Charlie Carlson; and five sisters-in-law: Leona Welsh, Essie Welsh, Betty Welsh, Maralyn Welsh, and Sarah Welsh; along with many nieces, nephews, and other family.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife Carolyn, who died in 2015; siblings and their spouses: Kay and Earl Moore, Robert Welsh, Alice and Cliff Armstrong, Mary Lou and Robert Cota, William Welsh, Daniel Welsh, Lloyd Welsh, Bernadine and Robert Heffern, Ida and Robert Gonsalves, Jerry and Jeanne Welsh; along with siblings: Margaret, Darlene, Josephine, and Edward in infancy.

Private funeral and burial services will be held at St. Mary’s Lycurgus Catholic Church in rural Waukon with Fr. John Moser officiating. Martin-Grau Funeral Home in Waukon is handling arrangements. The service will be live streamed on Thursday, Nov. 12, starting at 11 a.m. on the Martin-Grau Funeral Home facebook page. Memorials may be made to the St. Mary’s Lycurgus Cemetery Fund. Condolences may be sent to Sherry Ariss at 1526 S. 14th Street, Prairie du Chien, WI 53821.

Honorary casketbearers are Bernard’s grandchildren, Pat Cota, and Larry Magner. Casketbearers are Gary and Rick Welsh, Jack Heffern, Don Moore, Jim Ronan, Dennis Troendle, and Dave Einck.

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