UXBRIDGE, Mass. – Raymond X. Welch, 77, passed away Sept. 16, 2012, after a brief illness. Raymond was born May 23, 1935, in Bangor, son of the late Florence (McCann) and Raymond Welch.
His beloved wife, Leslie J. (Thibeau), predeceased him in 2009. Raymond is survived by his children, Raymond X. Welch Jr. and wife, Kathleen Gaines, Timothy E. Welch and wife, Elizabeth Molloy, and Richard P. Welch and wife, Rebecca. He also leaves his grandchildren, Samantha Zappia, and Brendan, Patrick, Katherine, Sydney and Timothy Welch; one great-grandchild, Patrick Zappia, born on the day of his passing; siblings, Patrick Welch, Ellen Beerits and husband, Chris, Mary Goolsby and husband, David, and John Welch and wife, Julie; several nieces and nephews.
He attended John Bapst High School where he was a standout baseball player. For many years Ray was an auto mechanic and subsequently an auto manufacturer service executive. He was also an accomplished carpenter, craftsman and self-taught engineer who built two homebuilt airplanes, one of which was a 2/3 scale replica of a P-51 Mustang. Those who knew him will recall he was also a World War II history buff and could identify any aircraft from that era by just the silhouette or sound. As a young man, he obtained his pilot’s license before his driver’s license, and was a commercial flight instructor for Air Force pilots at Dow Air Force Base, Bangor. Ray spent countless hours chasing the perfection of his homebuilts in his immaculately maintained and organized workshops. Though he’d have dismissed the notion with some curmudgeonly comment, Ray had the soul of an artist.
Calling hours for Raymond will be 5-8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 21, at Roney Funeral Home, 152 Worcester St., North Grafton, Mass. A funeral Mass will be celebrated 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, at St. Mary’s Church, North Grafton, Mass. He will then be laid to rest with his wife, Leslie, at Pine Grove Cemetery, North Grafton, Mass. In lieu of flowers, his family requests memorial donations to Wounded Warriors, http://support.