Dewitt Obits

Merle Delmar "Skinny" Welch

Clinton -- Merle Delmar Welch, known as “Skinny” by his friends and loved ones, passed away on March 11, 2024, at the age of 89. Born on May 20, 1934, at the family home near Birkbeck in DeWitt County, IL to Mary Ona Spencer and Nathan Cecil Welch. “Skinny” was a lifelong resident of the Clinton-area community. 


PVT Welch selflessly served his country as a member of the US Army’s Battalion HQ Div, 19th Infantry Regiment. In 1957, he was assigned to the 24th Infantry Div. in Korea.


In 1952 he married the late Donna Carolyn Tuggle. Together they had four sons and one daughter. In 1963 he married the late Barbara Jean Leevey. They had one son and one daughter. 


Everyone who knew “Skinny” knew that he could usually be found tinkering in the yard. Whether it be fixing up his ‘50 ford, farming on the land, enjoying his tractors (usually with a pup trotting close behind). On occasion, he and his son Terry would enjoy a squirrel hunt. 


Beside his love for his family, he was best known for his pride and the work he put into his garden. No one ever left without some fresh garden tomatoes to enjoy. 


We couldn’t have asked for a better Dad, Grandpa, Uncle, or Friend, and will miss “Skinny” everyday. His memory will live on in the hearts of all who loved him. 


Merle “Skinny” Welch was preceded in death by his parents Nathan and Mary, his five brothers; Robert, Clarence, Virgil, Donald, and John; his five sisters; Margaret, Eva, Mabel, Ada, and Mary Alice; his wife, Barbara; his two sons, Merle Lee and Terry Nathan; one grandchild, Kamala D. Welch. 


He is survived by his two daughters; Judy Ann (Norman) Noble of Morriston, FL and Lori Ann (Dave) Foulks of Clinton, IL. His three sons; Roger (Ingrid) Welch of Clinton, IL, Billy (Claudia) Welch of Portland, TN, Paul Dean (Theresa) Welch of Armington, IL, his 26 grandchildren, 44 great-grandchildren, and 1 great-great-grandchild. 


A Rememberance Reunion is scheduled for June 2024. Details to follow.