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Published: Thursday, 5/13/2004

Educator specialized in languages

ARLINGTON, Ohio - Lucia Welly, 82, whose academic mastery of Latin, English, and French led to a career teaching those subjects to high school students, died Tuesday in her son's home in Hancock County's Van Buren Township from complications of a stroke.

Mrs. Welly retired in 1986 from Arlington High School, where she taught French, Latin, and English for 18 years.

"That was just her love," said her son, Brian, who had Mrs. Welly as a teacher, as did her three daughters. "She didn't cut us any slack," he said. He added that other students named her as a favorite, "not because she was easy or their friend, but because she was fair and had a way of making you learn. She knew her stuff."

Mrs. Welly was salutatorian of her 1939 Arlington High School graduating class. She received a bachelor's degree in 1943, with honors in Latin, from Bluffton College, where she was a major in English and a minor in French and history.

She was a 1982-83 Martha Holden Jennings Scholar and a member of Pi Delta Society, a scholastic honorary. Young people continued to be central to her life, as she took part in her grandchildren's activities. She loved to read, and visitors to her home knew where to find her: "She had a favorite chair. She was probably there reading," her son said.

Surviving are her husband, Charles, whom she married Aug. 5, 1952; son, Brian; daughters, Beth Bracy, Beatrice Streacker, and Bernice Welly; brother, Louis Grieser, and nine grandchildren.

The body will be in the Crates Mortuary, Arlington, after 2 p.m. today. Services will be at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow in St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church, Jenera, Ohio, of which she was a lifelong member.

The family suggests tributes to the foreign language department at Arlington High School or the Luther Home of Mercy, Williston.

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