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December 19, 2011

David Welsh Jr.


— BOWERSTOWN _ David Welsh Jr., a beloved husband who enjoyed his native Cooperstown and the outdoors, died after a long illness early Friday morning, Dec. 9, 2011, at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown. He was 86.

A lifelong resident of Cooperstown, Dave was born July 3, 1925, at the Thanksgiving Hospital on Grove Street, and was later baptized into the Episcopal faith at Christ Church in Cooperstown. A son of David and Annie (Dickson) Welsh, he grew up in Cooperstown and graduated from Cooperstown High School with the Class of 1943.

As soon as he graduated from high school, Dave, along with some of his other buddies _ including Bud Ballard and Floyd (“Pagey”) Page _ entered into service in the United States Military. He enlisted in the United States Army on Sept. 16, 1943, and served his country as an automatic rifleman during World War II, during which he received injuries that earned him a Purple Heart. On Dec. 21, 1945, he received his honorable discharge from the military.

Soon after returning to his native Cooperstown, Dave with the help of a few good friends, most especially Pagey, began building the house in Bowerstown that would be his home the rest of his life.

For 38 years, Dave was employed by Ma Ball and AT&T and was well-known as an expert troubleshooter. When a technician could not solve a particular problem with a telephone, Dave was brought in and always found the answer and solution to the problem at hand. A member of the Telephone Pioneers of America, Dave will be remembered as being one of the initial installers of Dolores Coleman’s answering service switchboard, and, even after he retired, as one of the few telephone technicians who could maintain that system.

On April 10, 1948, Dave married Helen (Ella) S. Kyle, a native of Coatbridge, Scotland. Ella died March 22, 1989. On Nov. 18, 1990, (the day before hunting season began), Dave married Roberta Rebecca Sitts of Milford in a ceremony at the Oneonta Seventh- day Adventist Church. Dave and Becky enjoyed their life together in the house he built in Bowerstown, along with their many cats.

An avid golfer, Dave always enjoyed a good round with friends, as well as just hitting balls in the area behind his house. He was also an avid  hunter, and was a staunch member of the NRA. Dave also enjoyed being a Charter and Life member of the Sgt. Walter P. Eggleston Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 7128 in Cooperstown and the Cooperstown Native Sons.

Dave is survived by his wife of 24 years, Becky, of Bowerstown; two sisters, Grace Welsh of Cooperstown and Mrs. Annie Bantham and her husband, C. Harvey, of Saratoga Springs and Florida; one brother, Douglas J. Welsh of Cooperstown; a godson, Kent St. John; special friends, Dr. Steve Jastremski and his wife, Connie; and many nieces and nephews. Dave is further survived by his and Becky’s beloved cats, Angel, Smokey, Chester and Gypsy.

Dave’s life, especially near its end, was made easier through the kindness and caring of the entire Ballard family and neighbors, Kim Jastremski and George Hovis, and John Coughlin and Kristen Jastremski.

Dave will be remembered for being a man of high integrity and honesty, who led his life down the narrow road, and who was fond of saying that there are no gray areas in life, only black and white.

In the spring of 2012, Dave’s ashes will be scattered on his property at which time military honors will be accorded by members of the Sgt. Walter P. Eggleston Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 7128 in Cooperstown. Immediately following, family and friends are invited to gather for a time of refreshment and fellowship at the Cooperstown Vets Club.

In consideration of the extraordinary care extended to Becky’s nephew, Shelby David Knapp, it was Dave’s request that memorial gifts be directed to The Shriners Hospital for Children, 516 Carew St., Springfield, MA 01104-2396.

Arrangements are under the guidance of the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown.