Christmas greetings from the Welch family

Betty Rose Welch

Betty Rose Steen Welch, 98, of Fayetteville Arkansas, peacefully passed away on Sunday, August 22, 2021.

Betty was born April 18, 1923, in Carrol County, Iowa, to Ella Gruhn and Grover Steen.

She is preceded in death by her parents, her sister Velma Kruse, her beloved husband Merlin Dean "Percy" Welch, and her longtime companion Henry Schoenherr.

Betty is survived by her three daughters and their husbands: Michelle Welch and Tony Beardsley of Fayetteville; Patty and Frank McNeely of Cloudcroft, New Mexico; and Gwen and John Gerber of Kearney, Nebraska. She is also survived by eight grandchildren, eleven great-grandchildren, and her nieces and nephews.

Betty lived a long, full, and rewarding life. As an Air Force wife, she enjoyed her travels from base to base. She especially loved the assignment to Ramey AFB in Puerto Rico, where the family acquired their love of the beach and collecting seashells. After retiring from the Air Force, Merlin's work led them to relocate to Egypt, Greece and Mexico. Betty and Merlin also travelled extensively through Europe before returning to the US. In retirement, Betty and Merlin lived their dream in New Port Richey, Florida.

Betty attended both Iowa No. 6 and Iowa No. 7 country schools in Crawford County and earned her teaching certificate after graduating from Manning High School in 1940, and taught in a one-room schoolhouse during World War II. Once her daughters were of school age, she trained as a secretary and was particularly proud of serving as a secretary for both the principal of Ramey High School and the director of the Art Museum in El Paso, Texas. Raised in the Methodist Church and a member of the Presbyterian Church later in life, she shared her love of song by participating in several church choirs.

In her forties, Betty was finally able to fulfill her dream of taking art classes and became a fine artist and art teacher. She received many awards and accolades for her paintings and was a member of the Florida and Alabama Watercolor Societies. Her many wonderful paintings now brighten the homes of her family and friends. In addition to her art, Betty's legacy is her profound love for all of us.

Betty's family would like to thank all the caring nurses, CNAs, therapists, and staff at North Hills Life Care and Rehab, where Betty spent her last years.

Please visit the Westfield Chapel and Funeral Home website to leave memories online:

A private service is planned for the family in the Fall.

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