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William J. Welch passed away on Friday, 18th November, 2016, in his home in New Bedford, MA.
Bill was born in Deptford, London, in the United Kingdom, son of Violet Welch (née Gibson) and Percival Welch. He went to high school at Ralph Gardner Secondary Modern in North Shields, and was the first student from this high school to attend college. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science, Honors, from Warwick University, and went on to obtain his Masters of Science degree in Medical Physics at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital.
Bill married Margaret Welch (née Whitham) in August 1977. They raised three children, Kate, Helen, and Joe, in Mellor, in the UK. The family emigrated to the US in 1997, settling in Shrewsbury, MA. Bill worked for Raytheon in Marlborough as a software engineer for air traffic control systems. After retiring, he spent ten years in the family home in Palm Coast, Florida, volunteering for the Make It and Take It program where he helped those in need to build and take home their own computers.
Bill had contracted polio at four years old, leaving his legs paralyzed. He did not allow this early setback to deter him in any area of life, achieving a Duke of Edinburgh award as a teenager, taking his family on long hikes in the hills around Mellor, and inspiring others in all the places he called home.
In 2013, Bill returned to Massachusetts due to health complications. He leaves behind his wife Margaret, his son Joseph, daughter-in-law Kim Welch (née Roach), daughter Kate Welch, son-in-law Dan Coe, daughter Helen Welch and her partner, Mathew Schraeder, aunt Muriel Barry (née Gibson), and sister Carolyn Woodfield (née Welch).
A memorial gathering was held on November 22nd, in accordance with his wishes.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to EndPolio.org.
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