Maria Welch (84) longtime St. Maries, ID resident passed away February 24, 2019 surrounded by her family at Benewah Community Hospital. Maria was born in July 1934 in Salzburg, Austria to Maria Steiner of Mattsee, Austria and Wilhelm Mencler of Milkov, Czech Republic.
Maria grew up in Salzburg, Austria during WWII, and moved to Heidelberg, Germany in 1954 to work as an au pair for US Army families stationed in Germany after the war. This is where she met Bobby Welch of St. Maries, ID and they married in Heidelberg in 1957. Maria accompanied Bobby around the world, living in 3 countries and 6 states during his time in the US Army. After Bobby’s retirement from the Army, they settled in his hometown of St. Maries, Idaho. In the 1970’s Maria went to work at the Eagles Lodge, and spend a lot of time actively involved in the community. She instilled in her children an obligation to care for their community and help those in need.
Maria was an active member of the St. Maries Catholic Church. Her church was a very important part of her life, and she taught CCD there. She would lead prayer chains and was a member of the choir. Many hours were spent volunteering at the church and Maria’s children would accompany her to clean the church and perform ground maintenance. She spent the majority of her life caring for her family as they meant everything to her. In her spare time Maria was a published author, she participated in many potlucks for community involvement, she loved to knit, and was an avid baker.
She is survived by her siblings Anna Smith of Peoria, IL; Agnes Quidenus of Vienna, Austria; and Josef (Margot) Mencler of Salzburg, Austria; her 7 children Billy Welch of St. Maries, ID; Robert (Ana) Welch of San Antonio, TX; Kathy (Steven) Humes of Frankfort, KY; Karen (Robert) Roman of Post Falls, ID; Kay (Daren) Zarpentine of Harrison, ID; and twins Debra (Steve) and Darlene Welch, Coeur d’Alene and Salmon, ID. Maria is also survived by 22 grandchildren, 27 great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
A visitation will be Wednesday February 27, 2019 at 5:00 pm at St. Mary Immaculate Catholic Church. A rosary will be recited at 7:00 pm following her visitation. A Funeral Mass will be at St. Mary Immaculate Catholic Church on Thursday February 28, 2019 at 11:00 am with graveside services following at Woodlawn Cemetery. A gathering of family and friends to share a meal will be after graveside services at the Benedictine Hall in St. Maries.