Clarence William WelchSeptember 1, 1925 ~ January 1, 2018 (age 92)
Clarence “Clay” Welch passed away in the late hours of New Year’s Day, 2018. Clay was born September 1, 1925 in St. Petersburg, Florida. As a boy of 12 he ran away from home and sought refuge at Boys Town. While on the run he used a lit cigarette between his fingers as an alarm clock. Too young to join the fight in WWII, he instead joined the merchant marines.
As a grown man he joined the Army and served in the Korean War. He continued to serve after the conflict as a drill instructor. He carried a drill instructor’s demeanor with him for the rest of his life.
Following his honorable discharge from the army, he settled in Honolulu, Hawaii and worked as a supervisor at the Pearl Harbor shipyard. Together with his wife Gladys, they raised Charles Madden and daughter Kathy. They owned and operated businesses in Honolulu for 25 years.
Clay and Gladys settled in Napa in 1984. He enjoyed his walks and tending to his garden. Clay loved a good spaghetti western and cutting strokes off his golf game.
He was preceded to heaven by his wife Gladys and son Charles Madden. Clay is survived by his sweetheart Elizabeth Nielsen, loving daughter Kathy Brandes, son-in-law Capt. John C. Brandes (USN RET), daughter-in-law Marie Madden, grandsons: Rick Madden and his wife Jennifer; John Brandes, his wife Ana; and Scott Brandes and his fiancé Shannon McLoughlin; great grandchildren: Idalia Soles, Jake Sanchez and Luke and Hunter Madden; and great great grandson Owen Soles.
Clay will be missed by all who knew him. To honor him eat a nice home cooked meal and reflect that it tastes “just like store bought.”
Words of sympathy may be sent to the family on-line at www.tulocaycemetery.org.