Brookside Funeral Home & Crematory
On Monday, August 12, 2019 Richard Earl “Dick” Welch, loving husband and father of four passed away. Dick was born November 15, 1944 in Tacoma, WA. As people may or may not know, Dick was adopted at birth by Jim and Helen Welch, who raised him in Pasco, WA. The last few years Dick had spent time locating his biological family and was fortunate to have met and talked to a few of his biological siblings before his passing.
During his school days, he played football, basketball and baseball. While playing high school baseball he received the inspirational award two years in a row. After graduating from Pasco High School in 1963, he attended Columbia Basin Community College where upon he played football and baseball. He then moved on to Eastern Washington University to play baseball and received his Bachelor of Arts in Education.
On June 12, 1971 he married Penny Lince Stotsenberg.
In 1968, he started teaching Traffic Safety/Driver’s Education at West Valley High School (WVHS) in Yakima. Also, he instructed Traffic Safety Certification Courses at Central Washington University and was instrumental in writing the first Washington State Traffic Safety Education Curriculum Guide. His teaching career was interrupted in 1977 when he returned home to help his father run the family business, Welch’s Garage and Towing. A year later, he returned to Yakima to teach PE and Math classes. From 1983 until his retirement in 1999, he was the WVHS Athletic Director and Attendance Administrator. In 1990, he received his Master’s in Education with a Principal Credential from Heritage University.
While at WVHS, he coached football, basketball, and baseball from 1968-1977. In 1971, he was named varsity baseball head coach. One of his proudest moments was when the 1977 team finished in 2nd place at the state baseball championships. In 1979, he became the founding coach of the Pepsi-Pak American Legion Baseball Team. He was a member of various organizations: Mid-Valley League (2 years as President), YVIAA (2 years as President) and WIAA. In 1990, he received the Mid-Valley Athletic Director of the year award.
Upon retirement, he became a member of the Yakima Elks and discovered his passion for golf. In March 2002, at the Elks’ 13th hole, he got his “hole-in-one.” In February 2010, Dick’s love for golf was cut short due to a massive stroke. His strength in sports and the loving care of his wife Penny gave him an additional 9 plus years of life.
He was preceded in death by his mom (Helen), his dad (Jim), his biological father (Glenn Stockton), biological mother (Caroline “Maxine” Colley) and his mother and father-in-law (Uva and Robert Lince). Dick is survived by his wife of 48 years, Penny, and their four children, Greg Stotsenberg Jr. (Abby), Tim (Kyleen), Ryan “Scott,” and Shannon, and Matte “baby girl,” his four-legged companion. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Tyler Welch and Daniel Stotsenberg, his sister, Kathleen “Kathy” Cherry (Dwight), brother, John Stockton (Laura), and numerous sisters- and brothers-in law, cousins, nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank Cottage in the Meadow hospice staff, with special thanks to nurse Kathy Breshears, Dr. Katheryn Lauer, Chaplain Scott Klepack, Nurses Dan, Janice and Scott, and Hospice Staff Brenda and Courtney.
A Celebration of his Life will be held Friday, August 23, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. at Brookside Funeral Home & Crematory (500 W. Prospect, Moxee, WA 98936). In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Cottage in the Meadow, Memorial Foundation (2701 Tieton Drive, Yakima, WA 98902) or sent in care of Brookside Funeral Home (PO Box 1267, Moxee, WA 98936) who is caring for the family. Online condolences can be left for the family at www.brooksidefuneral.com.