PRICE-Our loving mother, grandmother, sister and longtime friend, Irene Garcia Welch, age 79, passed away June 29, 2011 in Price, Utah. She was born April 8, 1932 in Pagosa Junction, Colo. to Jerdobal Tomas and Anastacita Jacques Garcia.
Married Bob G. Welch July 25, 1959 in Wendover, Nev. and their marriage was later blessed at Notre Dame de Lourdes Catholic Church in Price. On March 21, 2000 Bob preceded her in death.
Mom graduated from Carbon High School in 1951. One of her first jobs was working for New Your Life Insurance in Denver, Colo. When she moved to Utah, she worked for a local attorney, which we knew respectfully as Mr. Dart and then with Seventh District Juvenile Court in Price. Mom's upbringing enabled her to be fluent in Spanish and in order for her to converse with her in-laws, she became fluent in German.
Between working and raising a family, she attended Utah State University receiving accreditation in nutrition and later in gerontology. With her nutrition accreditation, she started working for the Utah State University Extension Service in Price where she worked with those in need providing information about basic nutrition, teaching some to cook and even just helping them with programs that were available to them. Mom chose a career where she knew she could have the biggest impact; community service. She went to work for the Community Action Program and the R.S.V.P Programs in Price. Mom loved helping people, all people. She was a major influence in bringing the first food bank to Price and getting the local Boy Scouts of America to start a food drive as one of their projects. That food drive continues to this day. She was also Director of Operation Santa Claus for many years. It was her work with the RSVP Program where she met with and was able to use her education in gerontology to its fullest by working with the senior citizen population she grew to love. Mom was a member of the board of directors for the Council on Aging in Carbon County. Her love for helping people and children led to her work for R.U.C.D., Head Start Program. It was there where she knew she belonged and where she made many close friends. Wherever mom was and whenever she would see families with young children, she'd introduce herself then proceed to tell them about the Head Start Program. To this day, mom is remembered by many children who are now adults for her hard work at Head Start.
During her lifetime, she enjoyed quilting, sewing, knitting, and crocheting. Mom finally retired, only to keep busy. She started going to the Carbon County Senior Citizen Center. She had a circle of friends that she truly loved. We will always be forever grateful for her special friends at the Senior Center; Jeanne Martin, Shirley Baker, Judy Denny, Edna Karns, Henry Simone, Marie Robbins, and Marie Smith. We know that they will miss her dearly. Mom will be dearly missed by her very special friend of many years, Agnes Peirce.
Mom was extremely creative and had an eye for art. She painted many pictures for her family, and made hundreds of hand painted ceramics, winning a Blue Ribbon at the Carbon County Fair. Claude Monet was her favorite impressionist. It was his inspiration that led her to paint. She was always so critical of her beautiful work and each effort she strived to make "this one a little bit better than the last". Mom truly loved her painting classes with Judy.
Mom treasured every trip that her children took her on, and looked forward to the "where are we going this year" excursion. These are the memories of mom that we are blessed with and will truly cherish for the rest of our lives.
She is survived by one son and three daughters, Robert (Suzette) Welch, Gena Welch, Brianna "Bebe" Welch, Ann Welch-Price, all of Price, Utah; grandchildren, Julianne Price, Will Price, both of Price, Anique (Ken) Clague, Gillette, Wyo., Audrey (Curtis) Carter, Price; great-granddaughter, Bailey Truscott, Price; sister, Cordy Shiner, Price.
She was preceded in death by her parents; brother, Thomas Garcia; and sisters, Brocy Anderson and Stella Salazar.
Funeral Mass, Wednesday, July 6, 2011, 11 a.m., Notre Dame de Lourdes Catholic Church. Vigil service, Tuesday evening 7 p.m. Mitchell Funeral Home. Family will be at Mitchell's Tuesday and Wednesday one hour prior to services. Committal service, Cliffview Cemetery, Price.
Arrangements entrusted to Mitchell Funeral Home of Price where friends are welcome to share memories of Irene online at www.mitchellfuneralhome.net.