Patricia Ann Welch

Patricia Ann Welch, 63, of Salem lost her battle with cancer and passed peacefully on December 26, 2016 at Kaplan Hospice House in Danvers, surrounded by family.

Born June 3, 1953 in Brighton, Mass., Patti was a lifelong resident of Salem, the third of what would be eight children of Francis Lawrence and Patricia Jennings-Welch. She attended St. Mary’s and St. James High School, graduating in 1971.

It was during this time that she began playing the French horn and guitar, launching her lifelong love of music. She married Daniel Walker on St. Patrick’s Day 1979 and had two children, Bethany and Liam. She attained her bachelor’s degree in Biology from Salem State College.

She worked at Solarterre-e-em and The Greenhouse School, founded by her mom, serving as director until 1985. She remained active in school life and later joined the school’s Board of Directors. Students remember her fondly as Ms. Patti. In 1985 she joined the Biology Department at Salem State College (now University). For 30 years she supervised the biology labs, and there is hardly a SSU biology student who has not come under her tutelage over the decades.

An avid music lover and beautiful singer, she performed over the years in many local choirs and groups including the Paul Madore Chorale, the Salem State University Choir, and the Greater Lynn Concert Singers. She was active in scouting, serving as local den leader even after her son Liam achieved Eagle Scout. A talented artisan and jewelry maker, she founded The Silver Unicorn as yet one more activity in a dizzyingly busy life. She loved skiing and camping, and spent countless hours of enjoyment with her family at Shawnee Peak and Dolly Copp. She also loved the ocean and never tired of the beauty of New England’s coast, especially on stormy days, when she would take her siblings or children to witness the power of the surf.

In 2008 she married Lynne St. Onge with whom she spent eight wonderful years together before her passing. Patti was active in local affairs as well, serving as Board Chair of the Salem First Universalist Society and co-chair of the merger committee that eventually saw the union of this old congregation with First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church in Beverly.

Patti will be remembered most for her love of family and her kind heart—those who were honored to know her know that her generous spirit drove her to reach out to anyone in need; she touched many lives and will be deeply missed.

In addition to her loving wife Lynne, Patti is survived by her children, Bethany and her husband Mike Karalow of Salem, Liam and his wife Sarah Murray of Peabody, grandson Scotty (whom she adored more than anything in the world), sister Delpfine and her husband Kenneth Wilkerson of Austin, TX, sister-in-law Ellen Finn-Welch of Marblehead, brothers Christopher and his wife Barbara Tindall of Newburyport, Joseph and his wife Sallie Belle Davis of Manchester, Thomas and his wife Carla Dropo of Beverly, John and his wife Maura Abate of Marblehead, Daniel and his wife Julia Nambaliwra-Lugudde of Salem, and many nieces, nephews and cousins. She is predeceded by her brother Lawrence Finn-Welch of Marblehead, who passed away in 2015.

Patti was adamant about not wanting a funeral; her family is preparing a Celebration of Life in her memory. The celebration will be held on Sunday, January 8th from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. at the Italian Community Center, 302 Rantoul Street, Beverly, with special remembrances and songs from 1:30-2:30.

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36 Condolences

  1. Sherry Gagne on January 4, 2017 at 12:05 am

    I am so sorry Lynne and the family of Patti. Patti was a great and strong woman, a power of example.

  2. Joanna Bowen on January 4, 2017 at 12:20 am

    Patti was a special person. She was a bright light in every room she entered. Rest now my friend.

  3. Peter Alachi on January 4, 2017 at 1:11 am

    It’s hard to imagine our Biology Department without Patti. I appreciate our years of interactions in labs, and her deligence at picking valuable work-study students to work as my Microbiology assistants. The Darwin Festival, coming up in February, will feel empty without her presence and help throughout the busy week. She will be missed.

    Sending my love to the Lynne and relatives. Rest In Peace, Patti.

  4. Jean Carr on January 4, 2017 at 1:30 am

    I didnt know Patty but for a brief meeting but I know if you loved her the n i know she was a lovy lady. Im am so sorry for your loss.

  5. Madeline Stark on January 4, 2017 at 1:37 am

    Lynne what can anyone add to the beautiful obituary? Patti was a special and talented woman who was taken too soon. My thoughts are with you and the rest of her family.


  6. Connee Re on January 4, 2017 at 1:37 am

    What an incredible life! So busy and so much love. I’m glad I knew you. Rest in peace. Love to you Lynne.

  7. Janie Gammon on January 4, 2017 at 2:07 am

    A beautiful soul, a beautiful heart! I will miss you Patti.

  8. Lily Welch McBreen on January 4, 2017 at 2:17 am

    It’s very sad to have lost Patti to cancer at such an active time of her family’s life. I am grieving her loss with all of you, Lynn, Bethany, Liam and Scotty.

  9. Nicole Davis on January 4, 2017 at 2:48 am

    While I did not know Patti that well, what I did know of her was this: She was always kind, always ready to pitch in and help out at church, loved to sing, loved Lynne, and absolutely adored her grandson. A warm, bright light who has gone too soon. My condolences to Lynne and the rest of Patti’s family and friends.

  10. Gayle St.Onge Nwankpa on January 4, 2017 at 3:13 am

    I never saw my sister Lynne so happy as her past 8 years with Patti. have been. She was a perfect fit into our family. She even looked like our sister. Always gracious and cheerful. Thank You God for giving us some time with us as Lisa loved her to. I will continue to pray for you Lynne as Patti would wish. ❤️????????

  11. Paula Pare on January 4, 2017 at 10:59 am

    Remembering Patti from many years ago. We had great talks about our children. Would walk away from those encounters feeling cared about, heard, loved. To her family, may your hearts feel all the love being sent your way.

  12. Heather Pickard on January 4, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    Patti was a good friend to me. She listened without judgment. She was an amazing person. She will be missed. My condolences to Lynne, Bethany and Liam..

  13. Kara Mcgarigal on January 4, 2017 at 4:12 pm

    I’m really going to miss my good friend Patti. What an amazing wonderful woman. I’m lucky to have known her. Rest in peace my friend.

  14. Paul & Amy Fuller on January 4, 2017 at 4:20 pm

    Patti was truly a special, loving, caring and giving friend to all. I will forever remember the laughs and conversations we shared while I worked with Patti at the SSU Biology Lab.

    Our thoughts and hearts are with you all Lynne and family. May you find comfort and peace in Patti’s memories.

  15. Michelle and George Major on January 4, 2017 at 5:36 pm

    Patti was a wonderful person with a beautiful soul. She will be missed by many. Peace to her family.

  16. Megan Bonsaint on January 4, 2017 at 11:57 pm

    Patti was an amazing mentor and friend. She always saw the best in people and wanted to help anyone anyway she could. Rest In Peace, Patti.

  17. Cindy on January 5, 2017 at 12:13 am

    I will miss your lovely smile and good humor. Thank you for sharing your experience, strength and hope with me and so many others. My deepest sympathy to all of those you touched in this life.

  18. Ellen Acheampong on January 5, 2017 at 1:16 am

    The biology department and bio society will miss you. May your soul rest in perfect peace. Sending love to the loved ones you left behind on behalf of the biological society of Salem State University – Treasure.

  19. Ellen Acheampong on January 5, 2017 at 1:17 am

    The biology department and bio society will miss you. May your soul rest in perfect peace. Sending love to the loved ones you left behind on behalf of the biological society of Salem State University – Treasurer.

  20. Joan Cutler on January 5, 2017 at 2:46 am

    I have shared the joy and fun of singing next to Patti for almost 10 years with Concert Singers.What an amazing musically talented woman.Through her stories and so many pictures I got to know her beloved Scotty,her children and in person her very special love, Lynne.Patti gave her French horn to our talented gifted granddaughter,a gift of a generous spirit.Her vibrant life force will be missed .I know she was next to me last evening at rehearsal and will continue to be.Be at Peace now Patti and I know you are reminding those heavenly voices to watch their dynamics.My condolences to Lynne,Bethany,Liam, and all who loved you.

  21. Kathy Fligg on January 5, 2017 at 3:11 am

    Patti and I met in the SSC Choral Hall as STUDENTS! Seems an eternity ago! We became fast friends. I attended her wedding and cried at the birth of her babies❤️
    Life causes separation, technology now brings us together! Happy to accept her friend request, I was thrilled to know she was in her glory, bio dept, grown children, loving wife, and Scotty!!
    Bless you, Patti ?? Gone way too soon.
    My Love and prayers go to her family and friends … till we meet again ?

  22. Crystal Lackey on January 5, 2017 at 3:16 am

    There isn’t a single bio student that didn’t know and love all that Patti did. She was more than a professional, but a life long friend. She touched so many lives in so many ways. We truly lost an angel.

  23. Tomo Žargaj on January 5, 2017 at 5:05 am

    Prayers go out to Patti, her family and the entire Welch family. The Žargaj family is deeply saddened and share in your loss.

  24. Alan M. Young on January 5, 2017 at 1:59 pm

    Patti’s absence from the Biology Department these past several months has been felt and will continue to be felt. I’m in my 26th year at SSU and Patti has always been there during that time. We will miss her plant sales and behind the scenes work with the Darwin Festival, not to mention her “real” work as head lab tech. She is gone far too soon. I am glad that she got one last Christmas, a time of year that she truly enjoyed. My condolences to Lynne, Bethany, and Liam, et al.

  25. Maureen and Jeffrey Lutz on January 5, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    Patti’s talents, loyalty and love left a graceful mark on our family. Rest in peace, Patti! Our condolences to her family and friends.

  26. Donna Hoffman on January 5, 2017 at 6:39 pm

    Patti, you were the first person I met on my first day at SSU. Your first words to me were, “You must be Donna; we’ve been waiting for you.” It was a friendship right from the start. We shared many stories, had some laughs, and shed a few tears over the years. Now who will answer my plant questions? I’ll miss your grand laughter and your smile! Rest in peace my friend.You will be missed by all…

    To Lynne, Bethany, Liam, & family my sincere condolences.

  27. Tippi Haag-Olson on January 5, 2017 at 7:09 pm

    As a friend of Tom, Carla, Joe and Sallie Belle I have been long aware of the treasure of your family and the loss you now experience in Patti’s passing. I hold you all in my heart.

  28. Kristin Pangallo on January 5, 2017 at 8:16 pm

    The 4th floor of Meier Hall at SSU hasn’t been the same without Patti this fall, and it never will be. We miss her laughs and smiles, her knowledge and sense, and most of all her friendship.

    I have the delightful good fortune to know Patti’s grandson and to have the chance to share laughs and stories with her about his adventures and discoveries. I will miss those talks and seeing her eyes shine and her smile grow even bigger at the mention of his name.

    To all of Patti’s family, my deepest condolences.

  29. Sarah & Mike Dyer on January 6, 2017 at 12:32 am

    We didn’t know Patti personally, but because she was from a big family, and because we know Tom and Joe, and because she shared many of our same interests – music, biology, Unitarian/universalism, we just know she was a special person. Our sincerest condolences to the extended Welch family and to Lynne.

  30. Sandy Barry on January 6, 2017 at 3:01 am

    Patti I will miss seeing and laughing with you. We had a lot of good laughs on Friday nights. You were a power of example and our daughter felt good knowing you were nearby in the biology dept. I thank you for that.

    You loved your family and talked about them all the time.. you even talked us into a roll a derby night lol.

    I wish you had more time but you had the ‘best’ time. ❤

  31. Jacqueline Nicol on January 6, 2017 at 1:24 pm will be missed by many… left us all too soon. May you rest in peace..until we all meet again. Liam…Bethany…and family….you have my condolences. Love…Jackie

  32. Lisa Clarizia on January 6, 2017 at 3:47 pm

    I worked for Patti back in the early 90’s as a work-study student, and she was an enormous, positive influence on me, both as a scientist and as a human being. She will be missed.

  33. Jacki Connors on January 6, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    Liam, Sarah and little Scott,
    I am sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your families.

  34. Tara White on January 7, 2017 at 2:38 am

    I cannot express my sympathy for your family’s loss of one of the most generous and caring people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. I worked for Patti for the four years I attended SSC as well as for a year after graduating. She was by far my favorite boss – inspirational and encouraging as well as caring and empathetic. I loved spending time with her in the greenhouse or baking her famous brownies for the school bake sales. Patti was such a positive influence in my life and clearly so many others’ and will be missed dearly. Thoughts and prayers to all.

  35. Carol and Wayne Karolow on January 7, 2017 at 3:46 am

    Our dearest Patti – We, the Karolow family, wish you a peaceful transition to your next existence. We, also, thank you for having your wonderful daughter, Bethany, who joined our family as Mike’s wife. You live on in her and we will remember you through her strength, achievements and beauty as a person. Our sincere condolences to you Lynne, and to the Welch and Walker families and all of Patti’s friends.

  36. Seth Mascolo on January 7, 2017 at 3:55 am

    To Lynn and to John and family,

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this difficult time.

    May you always remember the good times you shared with Patti.

    I didn’t know her too well, however, I will always remember how kind she was and how happy she and Lynn were.

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