Donald Welch

Obituary of Donald Bruce Welch

Donald Bruce Welch (77) resident of St. Maries, ID passed away on March 14, 2024 surrounded by his loving family.  He was born to Albert “Louie” and Jean Welch on January 24, 1947 in Yreka, CA.  Don grew up in Weed, CA where he excelled as an athlete, being inducted into his high school’s Hall of Fame for Basketball, Football, and Track & Field.  He graduated from Weed High School with the class of 1964.

Following high school, Don earned a football scholarship to Oregon State University.  He spent 2 years there as an Art Major.  Following college, he moved to Portland, OR where he went to work for Union Carbide.  It was there he met Cyndie Brown, and the couple dated several years before marrying on June 3, 1971 in a beautiful back yard ceremony at her parent’s home in Portland.  The couple made their home in Portland, adding four daughters to the family. Don was provided with an opportunity to expand the Union Carbide company in the early 1980’s and moved the family to West Virginia. After two years there, the family moved to Lakehead, California.  The family lived in a cabin in the woods and lived simply off of the land.  Don hunted and fished for food alongside raising rabbits, chickens, and ducks.  He had a talented green thumb and could grow the biggest and best garden you had ever seen.  Don was a gifted carpenter; he helped to remodel and build homes for several years before he was hired by R&R Leisure Craft to build house boats.  He designed and built the “fly bridge” which was a steering station allowing the driver to steer the boat from the rooftop.  This was a first of its kind and is still in use today. After 15 years with R&R, he decided to change his career path by beginning employment with Shasta Nursery building green houses and serving as their handy and maintenance man.  At the same time, Cyndie ran a day care out of their home, and Don helped with the cooking and transportation of the children in her care. The family grew by one additional daughter.

Don retired in 2011. He and Cyndie moved to St. Maries, ID and helped their daughter and son in-law with their business “The Pines Motel”.  To keep busy in retirement, Don continued to help friends and family using his extensive carpentry knowledge and skills. 

Together, Don and Cyndie ran the Book Shack where he could visit with the patrons who quickly became friends.  Don never knew a stranger and had the gift of gab.

An avid outdoorsman, Don enjoyed everything the outdoors had to offer, specifically hunting, fishing, and picking morel mushrooms and huckleberries; he knew the backroads of California and Idaho very well, and had many favorite spots for hunting, fishing and picking.

He was active as a coach when his children played sports, and enjoyed following his grandchildren when they also became involved in sports.  He loved to read and enjoyed American history, art, painting, creating, sculpting, and carpentry.  To say he will be missed by friends and family is an understatement, he has left a void in his family’s hearts.

Don is survived by his wife Cyndie at their home in St. Maries; children Dawn (Mark) Alves of Red Bluff, CA, Kellie (Kevin) Hofmaister of Moscow, ID, Nicole (Steven) Raymond of Red Bluff, CA, Lindsey Welch of Redding, CA, and Jordann (Darryl) Welch of St. Maries, ID; sister Susie (Dwight) Hammond of Burns, OR; 8 grandchildren; 2 great-grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews.  He is preceded in death by his parents and his siblings Sally Taylor and Dale Welch. 

A Memorial Tree was planted for Donald
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Hodge Funeral Home
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