Peterson Funeral Chapel
William “Bill” A. Welch, 77 of Aurora passed away at home early Saturday morning, with his family at his side. He was born on August 19, 1938 in Aurora, MO at Dr. Kelsey’s house to Herbert “Buck” and Lillian (Hillhouse) Welch. On November 27, 1960 he married the love of his life of 56 years, Deanne E. Lee, of Monett, MO. She survives him of the home.
After graduating from Aurora High School in 1956 he went on to SMSU (MSU) in Springfield, MO on a golf scholarship. He graduated in 1960 with a BS in Geology and History. He lettered all 4 years, and twice earned honors as MIAA golf medalist his freshman and senior years. He was only one of the three golfers in the history of MSU to win individual medalist honors more than once. Then in 1989, he was inducted in the SMSU (MSU) Sports Hall of Fame, were his letter jacket and credentials are still on display.
He took over Aurora Golf Course from his dad in 1963, and converted the sand greens to grass greens. In 1989, construction began to expand the course to 18 holes, and the name was changed to Honey Creek Golf Club. With his relentless, daily hard work, and just his love & passion for the golf business, it was no wonder he received numerous awards such as Golf Digest 3 ½ stars “Places to Play”, and “Top Ten Best Greens in the State of Missouri” by the Kansas City Star. He also enjoyed reading many times that the course was described as having “superb bent-grass greens”.
Additional survivors include his sons Lance and his wife Susan and Scott and his wife Missy all of Aurora, MO. Grandchildren Spencer, Jared (Kelsey), Taylor (Nate Miller), Sawyer, Sage, and Great Granddaughter Parker Miller. A sister Kay Bradley and Dave of Columbia, MO, and brother-in-law Bud Lee and Glenda of Jacksonville, NC. And several nieces, nephews, cousins, & customers/friends. His parents and his oldest son Mark preceded him in death.
Visitation is Tuesday, November 24th from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. and the service is at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday November 25th, all at Elm Branch Christian Church with Pastor David Martin officiating under the care of Peterson Funeral Chapel.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Bill Welch Memorial Scholarship care of First Independent Bank, 1100 S. Elliott Ave., Aurora, MO or Peterson Funeral Home, 229 W. Church Street, Aurora, MO.