Roy Dickinson Welch Jr.
Roy Dickinson Welch, Jr. was born in Springfield, MA on February 22, 1928 and passed away peacefully on October 14, 2019 at StoneRidge in Mystic, CT. He was the youngest child of Sylvia Eastman Spencer and Roy Dickinson Welch, Sr. He was a former resident of Princeton, NJ, Hawaii, Chicago and Barrington, R.I. He loved his Mystic community where he lived for forty years.
Mr. Welch attended Princeton Day School, The Hill School, The George School and Princeton, Northwestern and Chicago Universities He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in English from Northwestern University. While at Northwestern, he met the love of his life, Constance Janet Alexander and the two married December 21, 1951 in Evanston, ILL, at her home church. He said he knew he’d marry her the minute he saw her across the room during his first week at the University.
After graduating from Officer Candidate School in Newport, RI, Mr. Welch served in the Navy during the Korean War as a Lieutenant, JG on board the Electra and the Catamount. He also served at the Pearl Harbor Receiving Station. He was stationed in Hawaii and Coronado, CA and remained proud of his service throughout his life. Roy greatly enjoyed mentoring young cadets at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, CT.
The Welch family moved to Chicago from CA., where Roy became Assistant to the President at Rand McNally Co. He delighted his children by filling their home with books and maps published by the company.
Roy soon discovered his life’s purpose in raising money for many non-profit organizations, colleges and universities
In 1964 he moved with his family to RI as Director of Development at the Rhode Island School of Design. He also was the Vice President of the Cumerford Co., a national fundraising firm. He then became the Director of Advancement and Alumni Relations at Roger Williams University and also at Bryant University, where he obtained the land for an entirely new and expanded campus.
When he became Director of Development at Connecticut College in 1978, the family moved to CT. He then founded his own development company organizing successful campaigns for community organizations including: Mystic Community Center, Mystic and Noank Library, Lyme Academy of Fine Arts, and the Mystic River Ambulance Co. He raised funds to preserve and create the Mystic River Wharf and Park in downtown Mystic. He was proud to raise funds for Princeton University and for the many churches of which he was a devoted member.
Mr. Welch grew up in a musical family and played the violin beginning when he was seven years old. His father was a music professor at Smith College and founded the music department at Princeton University. His mother trained as a concert pianist.
With his rich bass voice he was much in demand and was depended upon in many choirs. He played his violin in local churches, area hospitals and nursing homes. He would laugh as he said that as a child, he had been paid 5 cents a service to sing at the Princeton University Chapel with his brother.
His children and grandchildren continue this musical tradition.
He delighted in building harpsichords, sailing, woodworking, spending time on Martha’s Vineyard with his family and raising money for good causes. He built a home in Deerfield, ILL with help from friends and built a play kitchen for his twin daughters. He made toys for the Christmas sale every year at the Mystic Congregational Church and loved crafting gifts for friends and family.
He spent many happy hours visiting the Zuckermann Harpsichord workshop in Stonington, CT. This seemed the ideal pastime for Mr. Welch as it combined two of his favorite activities, woodworking and music.
He was a long time member of the Mystic Congregational church and served on the Stonington Commission on the Aging for 10 years.
As he himself acknowledged, he was a very popular man it with a great sense of humor.
He wrote and published stories, poems and articles throughout his life. And he amused and cheered his friends with his humorous anecdotes, jokes and songs-likewise he amused himself ,sometimes slapping his knee in enjoyment of his own story. A lover of Martha’s Vineyard since the age of 13, he spent his days swimming, sailing, building forts made out of driftwood for his children and cooking dinner on the beach.
Roy was a true gentleman, scholar, musician, faithful church member and family man who was greatly beloved by family and friends. He was generous of spirit with a positive outlook and zest for living.
He was predeceased by his wife Constance Alexander Welch and one of his twin daughters, Constance Alyson Welch.
He is survived by daughters Jody Dore Welch (Henry Skillman) of Katonah, NY, Cynthia Anne Welch-Moriarty (surviving twin)(Jack Moriarty), of Amherst MA, Jocelyn Spencer Welch-McCarthy ( Robert McCarthy) of South Kingstown, RI and son Scott Alexander Welch (Mary Ellen Banisch) of NY, NY. His six grandchildren are Christopher Welch Moriarty, Kimberly Anne Berkowitz, Timothy Welch Moriarty, Alexander Welch Skillman, Samuel Alexander McCarthy, Madeleine Spencer McCarthy. He had one great-grandchild, Aoife Mae Coombs-Moriarty.
Join us in celebrating Roy’s life on Saturday November 9 at 11 AM at Mystic Congregational Church. A reception will follow.
Gifts in Roy D. Welch’s memory should be made to Mystic Congregational Church, Mystic, CT or to The Parkinson’s Foundation, 200 SE 1st Street, Suite 800, Miami, FL 33131.
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