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Published: Sunday, 10/12/2008

Publisher served his community

Robert C. Welch, 83, who got his start reporting, editing, then typesetting stories for weekly newspapers he later owned, died of pneumonia yesterday in the Manor at Perrysburg, where he lived nearly two years.

He was editor and publisher emeritus of Welch Publishing Co., which includes the Perrysburg Messenger Journal, the Rossford Record Journal, and the Point & Shoreland Journal, said his son, John, who is publisher. Another son, Matthew, is advertising director.

In 1969, he and his wife, Dorothy, bought the company where he'd worked since 1947.

"He liked to be a service to the community," son John said. "He wanted to make the world a better place because he was there, and he did."

He was a Toledo native and Navy veteran of World War II.

He was a gunner's mate aboard the USS Montpelier and took part in the Battle of Empress Augusta Bay in the Pacific Theater.

He was a leader in myriad civic and fraternal organizations. He was a member of Grace United Methodist Church.

Surviving are his wife, Dorothy, whom he married Jan. 26, 1946; sons, John, Dr. Robert A., and Matthew Welch; 11 grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.

The body will be in the Witzler-Shank Funeral Home, Perrysburg, after 1 p.m. tomorrow. Phoenix Lodge, F&AM, services will be at 7 p.m. tomorrow in the mortuary, followed by Perrysburg Chapter, Eastern Star services. Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Grace United Methodist Church, Perrysburg, where the body will be after 10 a.m.

The family suggests tributes to the Perrysburg Rotary Service Foundation; the Robert C. Welch Journalism Scholarship Fund at Perrysburg High School; Hospice of Northwest Ohio, or a charity of the donor's choice.

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