Robert John Welch of Newburyport, after a courageous battle with Parkinson Disease past away at his home on May 29, 2018 surrounded by his loving family.
Robert was the beloved husband of Josephine Theresa (Vitiello) Welch and loving father of Karen Murphy of Newburyport, Robert John(R.J.) Welch and wife Helen of Connecticut, M.E. Wells of Newburyport, Margaret Welch and the late John Notargiacomo of Newburyport, Lori (Welch) Parolisi and husband Joe of Newburyport; adored grandfather to eleven grandchildren and two great grandchildren; as well as many nieces and nephews; dear brother of Patricia Driscoll, and late husband George of Whitman, James and late wife Theresa of Marshfield, William and wife Camille of North Reading; the late Richard Welch and late wife Loraine of Burlington and the late Francis Welch of Tennessee.
Robert was a 1954 graduate of Boston High School of Commerce. He went on to receive his Bachelor of Science Degree and Master of Education Degree at Boston University in 1969. He came to Newburyport in 1959 and began his career as a High School Science teacher later Physical Education teacher and Coach. Within 2 years he became the Physical Educational Director of all public schools in the city. He provided exceptional leadership during his tenure as a teacher, coach, and administrator. He was a pioneer for many of the advancements in the Physical Education and Health Curriculums in the Newburyport schools.
Some of Roberts accomplishments include; organized a curriculum around project adventure including outdoor education and recreational lifetime sports; developed a program of lifetime fitness and health including testing and evaluation; named citywide director of intramural sports; organized a boys’ leaders club program within the physical education curriculum at the High School; Built the first outdoor hockey rink in Newburyport with Community help and Student Volunteers; established the first tennis program at Newburyport High School, Coached tennis, football, baseball and basketball and was named Coach Of The Year multiple times; and named to the Newburyport High School Wall of Fame in 2003. In 2014 the Fitness Center at Newburyport High School, was named after Robert J Welch, with donations to the NEF, from colleagues, friends and family.
Robert left a beautiful legacy of what a man should be. Simply a true gentleman.
Family and friends may call on Sunday June 3, 2018 from 2:00 to 6:00 PM at the Twomey, LeBlanc, & Conte Funeral Home 193 High St. Newburyport, MA 01950. Parking available behind the Funeral Home. His Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:30 AM on Monday June 4, 2018 at Immaculate Conception Church, followed by burial at St. Mary Cemetery both in Newburyport.
In lieu of flowers please make all donations to the Michael J Fox Parkinson’s Foundation at The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research Grand Central Station PO Box 4777, New York, NY 10163-4777.