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Lillie Mae Welch
February 17, 1923 ~ September 7, 2023 (age 100) 100 Years Old
6 Trees, Flowers, or Condolences have been shared with support of Lillie's family - View on Tribute Wall
Lillie Mae Abston Welch was the second child of Bessie Abston and Lonnie Stewart. She was born February 17, 1923 in Clarendon, Arkansas.
Lillie's brother, Julius, was three years older. Her mother, Bessie, died when Lillie was only three years of age, and she was reared by her grandmother, Laura Abston, who was the celebrated historic matriarch of the Abston family. Her father, Julius, migrated to Chicago, Illinois where he earned the distincrtion of becoming one of the nations's first railroad Pullman Porters.
Lillie loved school and during her elementary school years, she lived with her Aunt Mary in the town of Clarendon during the regular school year. In the summer, she returned to "the country" to attend the little one-room school which neighboring rural students attended.
At age 12, Grandmother Laura sent her off to boarding school at the Fargo Agricultural School (FAS) in Fargo, Arkansas. Tuition was $7/month. If the students could not afford the tuition, they attended class for half of the day and worked on the farm the other half.
The stories of 38 FAS alumni are captured in the Ph. D. dissertation, Fargo Agricultural School (FAS) 1919-1949, The Hampton-Tuskee Idea Continued? ( Welch, 2003) It is available from the University of Missouri - Kansas City Library and the Library of Congress. She graduated from FAS in 1942.
Lillie moved to Memphis, Tenn and eventually met and married Jodie V. Welch, Sr. They moved to Kansas City, Kansas. She united with the Olivet Institutional Baptist Church in 1950, where she was a Deaconess until her passing.
Extremely humble, Lillie was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and great-great-grandmother. She was a superb cook, immaculate housekeeper, true friend and closed-mouth confidante, a computer nerd, a health club member, a bowler, a YMCA food service volunteer and a Christian - a truly good person. She said, "Just tell them I was a Christian."
Married to now deceased Jodie V. Welch, Sr., for 50 years, Lillie is survived by three of their four children: Dr. Dorether M. Welch, B. Yvonne Welch, and Dwayne A. Welch, all of Kansas City. Jodie V. Welch, Jr. was killed in Vietnam in 1967.
We will always love you, Mama. No matter how rough and hard the road, you danced around the obstacles. You made a difference in the lives you touched.