Melba Jo Welch

Funeral services for Melba Jo (Noonkester) Welch, 86, of Copperas Cove, will be held 11 a.m. Friday at Viss Family Funeral Home in Copperas Cove. Burial will follow at 3 p.m. at North Santo Cemetery in Santo, Texas.

Ms. Welch died Sept. 27, 2021. She was born Oct. 15, 1934, in Stephenville, Texas to the late Joe and Ellen Rogers Noonkester.

She grew up in Lipan, Texas, where she was a tremendous high school basketball player. She holds the 2nd all-time state scoring record by scoring 72 points in one game.

Melba later graduated Magna Cum Laude from McMurry College in 1961 while supporting her husband and raising two boys.

She married Doyle Wendell Welch, the love of her life, of Santo on June 28, 1951. They spent nearly 60 years together before he passed in 2011.

Melba was an elementary educator for nearly 30 years. She received several teacher of the year awards and loved her students. Melba served side by side with her husband, Rev. Dr. Doyle Welch, as he served as a pastor at many churches. She would often lead the singing and teach Sunday School.

Melba was a great storyteller and loved to laugh. Melba also was an avid sports fan and never missed any of her boys’ or grandchildren’s games.

After her retirement, she moved to Copperas Cove and quickly got involved in helping at the Copperas Cove School District mentoring teachers and selling tickets at the football annex. Melba attended the First Baptist Church of Copperas Cove and Pidcoke Baptist Church.

Melba was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Dr. Doyle Welch; grandson, Chad Evan Welch; three brothers, Tommy, Hershel and James Noonkester; and one sister, Donna Holloway.

Melba is survived by her sons, Gary Welch and wife, Faith, Jack Welch and wife, Carol “Suzie”, Tracy Welch and wife, Sheri; six grandchildren, Joshua, Steven, Kaylee, Caleb, Matthew Welch, Daniel Martin; great-granddaughter, Madeleine Jo Welch; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be held an hour prior to the service at the funeral home.

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