Patricia Ann Welsh was born on November 1, 1936 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Edward and Nan Maguire. She fondly remembered playing in the streets and parks of her Germantown neighborhood, walking to school, and spending summer vacations enjoying the family beach house in Cape Cod, NJ.
At 13, she met Jimmy Welsh. The two fell in love and dreamed of making their lives alone in the west, far from the city where they grew up. They had a fairytale wedding the year Patricia turned 19. They left their wedding reception in a truck and trailer as they set off to start their new life in California. Their song, “Let the Rest of the World Go By,” includes the lyrics, “We’re gonna build a little nest, somewhere out west, and let the rest of the world through.” That’s exactly what they did. On June 30, 2021, they celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary. Our family grew up with their stories of adventures and misadventures and learned the value of undying love and loyalty from their example.
Jim and Pat have four children, 13 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Pat’s legacy lives on in everyone’s thoughts, practices and hobbies: cooking, gardening, playing, knitting, crafting, quilting, creating and travelling. She was a first-class baker who provided limitless treats and spoiled her family with homemade bread for decades. A dedicated knitter, crocheter and quilter, Mom has gifted us with many handmade works of art and heart. From afghans, purses, treasure bags and quilts, to crocheted holiday ornaments, snowmen and Christmas trees, her legacy will live on every time we finish or decorate with her beautiful handicrafts.
Pat never left any doubt that her biggest priority and greatest joy came from her family and the homes she and Jim had created raising their four children in such a different way from childhood. in town that they had both lived. They raised their children with the natural world at their doorstep. They raised children who knew how to hunt, chop wood, make fires, feed cows and goats, collect eggs, hike mountains and appreciate the gifts of a life raised by a mother who always loved deeply and unconditionally. These priorities have become our core family values and are shared across generations.
Many of our most treasured family traditions center around mom. Every summer we looked forward to picking berries and enjoying her fresh blackberry pies. In the fall, our family and friends would gather to pick apples and squeeze gallons of cider. Mom loved to keep a careful count of the day’s work. Apples that fell from the trees before pressing day were lovingly prepared by Mom into applesauce, apple butter or one of Mom’s delicious pies. Every Christmas Eve, Mom would play the piano as family and friends gathered to sing Christmas carols. She trained for weeks, doubted her skills, and sometimes had to start over, but this event will be etched in our memories as one of our most beloved days of the year.
Early in their marriage, Pat worked as a secretary. She was a fast typist and excelled at shorthand, frustrating her children by writing Christmas lists they could not read. She returned to secretarial work at HSU’s Department of Nursing and Humboldt Home Health once her children were raised. She was a philanthropist and volunteer, serving as a leader for her local PTA, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, supporting her children’s sports teams and serving as a braille transcriber for many years, becoming president of the local association of braille. . She loved a challenge and kept abreast of technological advances, making a seamless transition from using manual Braille typewriters to a fully computerized system. Her greatest joy was bawling children’s books.
Pat suffered a massive heart attack in 2016 that left her breathless when doing big tasks, but didn’t slow down her knitting projects or Sudoku challenges. The downtime allowed him to master his iphone and opened up new lines of communication with his estranged grandchildren. Each text of “Mamu” ended with several emojis… always including a heart, a musical note and often a “LOL”.
Last summer saw the return of mum’s heart problems. In late November, she suffered two more major heart attacks and required resuscitation both times. We thought, and the medical professionals believed, that our time together was over. Miraculously, she recovered and returned home to enjoy six weeks feeling better than she had in years. During this time, she created a final bright pink afghan to welcome her newest great-grandson and practiced daily for the annual Christmas Eve piano accompaniment. Most of our large and extended family was able to visit during this time and many laughs and tears were shared as we knew we were living and loving on borrowed time.
On February 28, Mom’s heart gave out. A hundred years wouldn’t have been enough, but we know her body was tired and she was ready to say goodbye. Nothing really lessens the pain of losing her. We are forever grateful and in awe of our father who, through strength of will and a lifetime of love, put everything else on hold to lovingly care for her at home. Throughout her life, home has always been where she preferred to be and it’s fitting and comforting that she was able to spend her last days in the place she loved the most.
Pat is survived by the love of her life: her loving husband of 65 years, James Welsh. She leaves behind her four children and their spouses whom Pat loved as his own: Rosemarie and John Gloor (McKinleyville), Daniel and Amy Welsh (Citrus Heights), Chris and Deb Welsh (Knoxville, TN), and Phyllis and Tom Nolan (McKinleyville); his beloved grandchildren: Logan Gloor, Kelsey Iberti, Liza Welsh, Cathy Albert, Taylor LeBlanc, Rachel Voorhees, Jenny Welsh, Thomas Nolan, Emily Welsh, Corina Montgomery, Marisa Gloor, Ben Welsh and Austin Nolan and his five greats -grandchildren: Nick Cavallero, Wyatt Albert, Luca Iberti, Owen LeBlanc and Jolene Albert. She is survived by her sister JoAnn Reckner (Wisconsin), her brother John Maguire (Pennsylvania) and her sisters-in-law: Genevieve Bottoroff (Florida) and Margie Stiehl (New Jersey).
Our family would like to thank those who supported Mom and our family: Paulette Crowell, Denise Witte, Mad River Ambulance, Humboldt Hospice, St. Joseph’s Family Practice, Dr. Tin Botzler, and the cardiology team at Providence Medical Group, and the incredible nursing staff at Mad River and St. Joseph Hospitals.
At his request, there will be no funeral services. A celebration of his life will take place this summer.
The above obituary was submitted on behalf of Patricia Welsh’s loved ones. the Lost Coast Outpost manages free obituaries for Humboldt County residents. View Guidelines here.