James E. Welch, 90, of Lakeville passed away peacefully on Saturday September 9, 2017 after a period of declining health. He was the husband of Mary M. (Saunders) Welch; they had been married for 65 years.
Born in Fall River, the son of the late Dr. Edward J. and Catherine (Connerton) Welch, he lived in New Bedford for many years before moving to Lakeville 35 years ago.
A lifelong educator, Mr. Welch taught at various schools in Mattapoisett and New Bedford, served as assistant principal at the John A. Parker School and as principal of the Phillips Avenue School until his retirement in 1988.
He was a graduate of Holy Family High School, Providence College where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree, and Bridgewater State College where he received his Master’s Degree in Education.
During World War II, he served in the U.S. Army.
He was a member of the American Legion Post 121 in Berkley and the Massachusetts Teachers Association. He was a former member of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick.
He was an avid reader who was always interested in the activities of his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
The family would like to extend special thanks to his good friend, Gerry McGrath, for his constant friendship throughout the years.
He is survived by his wife, Mary; five children, Edward J. Welch and his wife Janis, Thomas J. Welch and his wife Andrea, Marilou Allen and her husband Joseph, Catherine Rego and her husband Ronald, and James E. Welch, Jr.; 14 grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
He was the brother of the late Kathleen Sheerin, Edward Welch, and Thomas Welch.
His Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Wednesday September 13, 2017 at 11 am at Holy Name of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church. Burial will be in St. Patrick’s Cemetery, Fall River. Visitation will be on Wednesday from 9:30-10:30 am at the Saunders-Dwyer Home for Funerals, 495 Park St., New Bedford prior to the Mass. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to the New Bedford High School Library Fund, Attn: Headmaster, 230 Hathaway Blvd., New Bedford, MA 02740. For directions and guestbook, please visit www.saundersdwyer.com.