John F. Welch passed away peacefully on January 16, 2020 at Sentry Hill in York, Maine with his loving family by his side.
He was born in Brockton, MA on October 13, 1921. Shortly after his birth, he and his family moved to York, Maine where he attended the York Schools. He was an outstanding athlete, especially in basketball. After graduation he went to work as a shipfitter on the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. During this time, he met his future wife, Mary, who was working as a waitress at Garfield’s store in York Beach. They were married on April 25, 1942 at the York Town Hall. Seven months later he received his draft notice and spent the next 33 months fighting the war in the South Pacific, primarily in Okinawa. Upon his discharge from the service he returned to work at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard where he retired in 1976 after 36 years.
After his retirement, he worked at Ellis Short Sands Park as a superintendent for the next 35 years. He greatly enjoyed this time and made many good friends while mowing the lawn or scheduling bands for the Gazebo. He was very involved in many activities in the York Beach area, including being a part of the planning board for the York Beach Corporation, The York Little League, and the York Beach Fire Department, where he served as Assistant Chief from 1952-1974 and Chief from 1974-1991. While Chief, he had the foresight to start the first responder program in the town of York, which is now an integral part of the Fire Department.
In June 2012, he was inducted into the York High School Athletic Hall of Fame for both his basketball skills and his 25 years of being score keeper for many of the games.
Over the years he enjoyed playing golf as a member of the Cape Neddick Country Club, as well as his many trips with friends and family to play his favorite game of Blackjack in Las Vegas.
John was predeceased by his wife Mary of 55 years and his brother Paul. He is survived by his 3 sons, John and his wife Pam, James and his wife Janet, and Michael and his partner Elizabeth. He is also survived by 8 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren. John also leaves behind his loving companion of over 10 years, June Fournier.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the John F. Welch scholarship fund C/O York Beach Fire Department, PO Box 70 York Beach, ME 03910.
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