Obituary: Mary V. Welch April 22, 1934 – May 27, 2022

MARY V. (Ginger) WELCH April 22, 1934 – May 27, 2022

Mary V. (Ginger) Welch, 88, of Sun City West, AZ and Los Alamos, NM, passed away May 27, 2022.

She was preceded in death by her husband Frank P. Welch, infant son Mark Stephen Welch, her infant great grandson Maddox Melton, parents Cornelius and Jean Milliken, brothers Cornelius and William, sisters Kathleen, Helene, and Jean, and her sweet dog Sydney.

Ginger was born in Elmira, New York, April 22, 1934 and was one of 14 children. She graduated from Elmira Catholic High School in 1952, entered school at St. Josephs and spent an initial year in the convent. Realizing that her true calling was nursing, she went to St. James Mercy School of Nursing and earned her degree in 1958. 

After receiving her nursing degree Ginger craved an adventure. She found a magazine ad calling for nurses to work in Los Alamos, NM, and got a job at the local hospital there in early 1959. Los Alamos was a young and fun town at that time, and Ginger met Frank Welch at a singles mixer at the Catholic Church. June 18, 1960, they married and settled into raising their family and working in Los Alamos for over 35 years.

Ginger was a passionate, intelligent, determined and caring nurse, community member, and public servant. She loved caring for patients during her work for the Los Alamos Medical Center and for Dr. James Loucks. The highlight of her career was working together with Dr. Phillip Newman and Dr. Michael Jackson to build a surgery practice based on total patient care. Ginger also served several terms on the Los Alamos School Board and the Los Alamos County Council. She was a proponent of teachers and seniors and worked hard to make sure their voices were heard. She was a dedicated parishioner of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church.

As a mother, Ginger was supportive of all her kids. She attended many, many school concerts and athletic events. She was a longtime supporter of the Los Alamos Aquatomics swim team, and she was the number one fan of her son’s band, Billy Blastoff and the Retro Rockets.

After retiring to Sun City West, AZ, and taking up golf, Ginger remained active in her community. She did volunteer work, served on various committees, and was a member of the Recreational Activities Board.  She joined the Lord of Life Church, and she loved participating in bible study classes and helping wherever she was needed. Ginger and Frank both loved living in Sun City West, and they were able to spend lots of time with Frank’s family and make many wonderful friends. 

Ginger’s main passion was her family. Her husband, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren were the beneficiaries of her powerful love. She loved her children, but ADORED her grandchildren and great grandchildren. She loved attending anything they were part of – plays, concerts, athletic events, etc.  She loved the annual trips to Angel Fire, NM, where she could have everyone all together for a week. When Frank became ill, she packed up and moved back to Los Alamos and cared for him tirelessly for two years until his death. 

Ginger is survived by her five children, Kathie Wright (Orbry), Bill Welch (Chi), Frank Welch (Michael), John Welch (Micaela), and Tim Welch (Bridget). She was “Grandma G” to her 12 grandchildren [Sarah Nelson (Nate), Betsy Rodriguez (Raul), Becca Wright (Greg), Christopher Welch, Abbie Wright, Ceara Melton (Kyle),  Margaret Cardiel (Mateo), Patrick Welch, Josh Scheel, Olive Welch, Kelly Welch, and Ava Welch] and her 8 great-grandchildren [Raegan, Colin, Skylar, Leo, Emi, Ellison, Marcelo and Cambrie]. She is survived by her siblings Therese Esposito, Elizabeth Milliken (Jim), Margaret Nittinger (Charlie), Rose Nehring, and Ann Henson; her brothers, Father Damian Milliken, Jim Milliken (Anna Marie), Joe Milliken (Sylvia), and her many cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends that became family. Ginger’s beloved dog Ari is enjoying retirement in Philadelphia.

Ginger’s strength, passion, generosity, determination and love have long been a driving force in the lives of her family members and of her many friends. She is truly missed.

There will be a service at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, Los Alamos, NM, at 10 a.m., Friday July 15, 2022. The service will be live streamed through the church website for those unable to attend. In lieu of flowers, any memorial donations can be made to the charity of your choice or to:

Benedictine Mission House,
Africa School Project for Father Damian
P.O. Box 528
Schuyler NE 68661-0528

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