William Welsh remembered as ‘a very giving man’

ARLINGTON — William E. “Bill” Welsh was by all accounts a generous man.

A trained electrician, he never hesitated to help friends and acquaintances who needed his skills.

That’s what Welsh was doing March 22 — helping install a water heater in a home on Steelhead Drive in Oso.

Welsh, 66, of Arlington, died in the mudslide that destroyed that entire neighborhood. A friend helping with the installation, Stephen Neal, 55, of Darrington, and the home’s owner, Amanda Lennick*, 31, of Oso, also died in the slide.

“He was a very giving man,” said Barbara Welsh, his widow. “And he always smiled,” she said.

Welsh grew up in Sedro-Woolley, graduating from Sedro-Woolley High School in 1966. He entered the Army and was stationed in Germany for a year before being sent to Vietnam.

“He always said he survived Vietnam for some reason. I guess to meet me,” Barbara Welsh said.

They met through a friend in a Safeway store in 1970 and were married a year later.

He eventually went to work for Evergreen Modular, which later became Whitley Evergreen, a manufacturer of modular homes and buildings in Marysville. He stayed with the company for 20 years.

“He was getting ready to retire,” Barbara Welsh said.

“He just wanted to make sure, when he left, there was someone there to take that position,” she said.

The Welshes raised two sons, Christopher, 45, of Arlington, and William Wayne, 42, of Okanogan.

Bill Welsh was active in sports, running track and playing football in high school and later coaching youth baseball and football. He played golf on Sundays and every Friday night he and Barbara went bowling as part of a league.

“We always considered that our date night,” Barbara Welsh said.

“Last Friday I had to be brave and went to the league. Generally, my husband was more of a talker. Now, people were amazed how much I talked that night,” she said.

The Welshes’ niece, Tammy Oommen*, said her uncle was a natural teacher, and as she grew older, she came to appreciate his company as an adult.

“He liked to discuss politics with his nephews and nieces, and my kids have probably gotten into politics because of him and Grandpa,” Oommen said.

“He was fun, complicated and he was a good person. He helped a lot of people,” Oommen said.

His longtime golf partner, Geno Burbank of Marysville, said Bill Welsh often came around to help with electrical problems that he couldn’t solve himself.

“He was always one of the first ones there when you needed help,” Burbank said.

“He was helping out and he just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time,” he added. “He’s going to be really missed.”

In addition to his wife and two sons, Welsh is survived by a sister, Jackie, of Illinois, and brothers Michael Welsh of California and Daniel Welsh of Mount Vernon.

A memorial service for William Welsh will be 2 p.m. Saturday at the Stillaguamish Valley Pioneer Museum, 20722 67th Ave NE, Arlington*.

Chris Winters: 425-374-4165; cwinters@heraldnet.com.

* Correction, April 9, 2014: This article originally contained incorrect information about William Welsh’s memorial service. Tammy Oommen’s name was also misspelled.

Correction, April 18, 2014: Amanda Lennick’s name was misspelled in an earlier version of this article.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Traffic idles while waiting for the lights to change along 33rd Avenue West on Tuesday, April 2, 2024 in Lynnwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Lynnwood seeks solutions to Costco traffic boondoggle

Let’s take a look at the troublesome intersection of 33rd Avenue W and 30th Place W, as Lynnwood weighs options for better traffic flow.

A memorial with small gifts surrounded a utility pole with a photograph of Ariel Garcia at the corner of Alpine Drive and Vesper Drive ion Wednesday, April 10, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Death of Everett boy, 4, spurs questions over lack of Amber Alert

Local police and court authorities were reluctant to address some key questions, when asked by a Daily Herald reporter this week.

The new Amazon fulfillment center under construction along 172nd Street NE in Arlington, just south of Arlington Municipal Airport. (Chuck Taylor / The Herald) 20210708
Frito-Lay leases massive building at Marysville business park

The company will move next door to Tesla and occupy a 300,0000-square-foot building at the Marysville business park.

In this Jan. 4, 2019 photo, workers and other officials gather outside the Sky Valley Education Center school in Monroe, Wash., before going inside to collect samples for testing. The samples were tested for PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, as well as dioxins and furans. A lawsuit filed on behalf of several families and teachers claims that officials failed to adequately respond to PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, in the school. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Judge halves $784M for women exposed to Monsanto chemicals at Monroe school

Monsanto lawyers argued “arbitrary and excessive” damages in the Sky Valley Education Center case “cannot withstand constitutional scrutiny.”

Mukilteo Police Chief Andy Illyn and the graphic he created. He is currently attending the 10-week FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia. (Photo provided by Andy Illyn)
Help wanted: Unicorns for ‘pure magic’ career with Mukilteo police

“There’s a whole population who would be amazing police officers” but never considered it, the police chief said.

Officers respond to a ferry traffic disturbance Tuesday after a woman in a motorhome threatened to drive off the dock, authorities said. (Photo provided by Mukilteo Police Department)
Everett woman disrupts ferry, threatens to drive motorhome into water

Police arrested the woman at the Mukilteo ferry terminal Tuesday morning after using pepper-ball rounds to get her out.

Bothell
Man gets 75 years for terrorizing exes in Bothell, Mukilteo

In 2021, Joseph Sims broke into his ex-girlfriend’s home in Bothell and assaulted her. He went on a crime spree from there.

Allan and Frances Peterson, a woodworker and artist respectively, stand in the door of the old horse stable they turned into Milkwood on Sunday, March 31, 2024, in Index, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Old horse stall in Index is mini art gallery in the boonies

Frances and Allan Peterson showcase their art. And where else you can buy a souvenir Index pillow or dish towel?

Providence Hospital in Everett at sunset Monday night on December 11, 2017. Officials Providence St. Joseph Health Ascension Health reportedly are discussing a merger that would create a chain of hospitals, including Providence Regional Medical Center Everett, plus clinics and medical care centers in 26 states spanning both coasts. (Kevin Clark / The Daily Herald)
Providence to pay $200M for illegal timekeeping and break practices

One of the lead plaintiffs in the “enormous” class-action lawsuit was Naomi Bennett, of Providence Regional Medical Center Everett.

Dorothy Crossman rides up on her bike to turn in her ballot  on Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Voters to decide on levies for Arlington fire, Lakewood schools

On Tuesday, a fire district tries for the fourth time to pass a levy and a school district makes a change two months after failing.

Everett
Red Robin to pay $600K for harassment at Everett location

A consent decree approved Friday settles sexual harassment and retaliation claims by four victims against the restaurant chain.

A Tesla electric vehicle is seen at a Tesla electric vehicle charging station at Willow Festival shopping plaza parking lot in Northbrook, Ill., Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022. A Tesla driver who had set his car on Autopilot was “distracted” by his phone before reportedly hitting and killing a motorcyclist Friday on Highway 522, according to a new police report. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Tesla driver on Autopilot caused fatal Highway 522 crash, police say

The driver was reportedly on his phone with his Tesla on Autopilot on Friday when he crashed into Jeffrey Nissen, killing him.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.