LA CRESCENT, Minn. — Earl Joseph Welch, 87, of La Crescent passed away peacefully Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018.

He was born near Waukon, Iowa, March 7, 1930, to Thomas and Vernita (Waters) Welch.

Earl and Jean (Hutzenbuehler) of La Crosse were married May 19, 1951, and raised 10 children in La Crescent.

He is preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Dale Welch; a son, Merle Welch; an infant son; and infant great-granddaughter. He was also preceded in death by Jean’s two sisters; Jean’s two brothers; two sisters-in-law; three brothers-in-law; and many other relatives.

He is survived by his loving wife of 66 years, Jean of La Crescent. He is also survived by his children and their spouses, Michele (David) Jopke, Marla (Robert) Burns, Michael (Beth Dickson) Welch, Mark (Sue) Welch, Marti (Karen) Welch, Matthew (Marcia) Welch, Maureen (Louis) Pistulka, Mary Welch and Morry (Jill) Welch. Additionally, he is survived by 21 grandchildren; 27 great-grandchildren; and his siblings and their spouses, Darlene Larson, Clair (Jane) Welch, Richard (Ruth) Welch, Harold (Arlene) Welch and Annette (John) Waldron. He is also survived by Jean’s two sisters and their two spouses; many nieces, nephews and other relatives.

He grew up on a farm where he learned the value of an honest day’s work. Living by that value, he had a successful 41-year career with Mathy Construction Company, where he started as a laborer and finished as a vice president, retiring in 1992. Outside of work, he put his family first and took great pride in his 100% Irish heritage. He was a lifelong member of the Crucifixion Catholic Church of La Crescent and an avid Green Bay Packers fan. He enjoyed hunting, golfing and many other outdoor activities. He also served on various committees in La Crescent and Houston County.

Earl’s family would like to thank the Eagle Crest South staff and hospice staff, who provided excellent care to Earl.

Son, brother, husband, dad, father-in-law, grandpa, great-grandpa, uncle, leader, employee, friend and volunteer…You have made us all proud! We love you!

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 6, at Crucifixion Catholic Church in La Crescent, with the Rev. Gregory Havel officiating. Burial will follow in the Crucifixion Catholic Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 9 a.m. until the time of Mass Tuesday at the church.

Schumacher-Kish Funeral and Cremation Services of La Crescent is assisting the family. If wishing to contribute to Earl’s memory, contributions can be for the Crucifixion Catholic Church of La Crescent; the La Crescent Area Event Center; or the Alzheimer’s Association. Online guestbook is available at www.schumacher-kish.com.

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