Gale Welch

Gale A. Welch

Friday, August 14th, 2020
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Gale A. "Griz" Welch, 80, of Missoula passed away on August 14, 2020 at St. Patrick’s Hospital.

Gale was born in Ekalaka, Mt. on August 17, 1939 to Delbert "Jerry" Welch & Eleanora Frye Welch.

He attended schools in Ekalaka and graduated from Carter County High School in 1957. He participated in football and baseball and belonged the "C" club and the Broadcaster and Annual staff. Many lifelong friendships were made during his high school days. He enjoyed his high school reunions And the Days of "85" every year when he could see old friends and classmates.

Gale was an avid hunter with some trophy mounts to his credit. He belonged to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation for many years. He loved to fish and fished many times in Alaska and caught a "whopper" of a sailfish in Mexico. He liked to bowl and was a fierce competitor in horseshoes and pool. He passed these skills on to his children and grandchildren. After moving to Missoula, he enjoyed his weekly pool games with his friends at the Eagles Lodge. He snow skied and water skied and taught countless kids how to water ski.

He was a true nature lover, and for the past few years, he was always up for a walk with his daughter Sandy and her dog on walking trails and at Fort Missoula.

He enjoyed music and loved to dance. He was always in demand from the time of country dances long ago to the ballroom dance parties given by his brother Lorn .He never had to search very far for a partner.

In the past year he enjoyed a trip to the Oregon Coast with his family and spent his 80th birthday with family and friends at his brother's cabin at Cooney Reservoir. In October he met with his sister and brothers in Great Falls to be together and reminisce. He had a busy 2019!

His sense of humor was beyond compare and stories about Dad, Grandpa Griz and Brother Gale will be told for a long time to come.

Gale was the friendliest person you could ever meet and he "never met a man he didn't like."

He was preceded in death by his wife Verna in 1999 and stepson Kirby Albright in 1995.

He is survived by his wife Marie, daughter Sandy Johns of Missoula, daughter Kyla (Miguel) Duran and grandsons Kyle, Jacob & Kaleb of Seeley Lake, stepdaughter Kathy (Mark) Duffy and granddaughter Markie Duffy of Kentucky. Granddaughter Lauren Johns and great grandchildren Christopher and Elizabeth of Missoula. Granddaughter Jaycie Johns (Adam) of Seattle, grandson Brandon Albright of Kentucky and granddaughter Dani (Alfie) Collings of England.

Gale is also survived by his sister Geraldine Sanchez of Great Falls, brother Lorn Welch of Billings, brother Vernon (Debbie) Welch of Billings, his aunts Verna Welch of Libby and Donna Welch of Billings, and many nieces, nephews and cousins that he loved dearly. He will also be missed by his little dog Stella, who was his constant companion.

The family would like to thank the staff at St. Patrick’s Hospital for the excellent care he received.

A celebration of Gale's life for family & friends will be held at Camp Needmore in Ekalaka on September 12, 2020 beginning at 2:00 P.M.

Memorials in Gale's name can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, Montana Chapter. 3010 11th Ave. N. Billings, Mt. 59101
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Posted at 07:31pm
Marie, I am so sorry to learn of Griz’s passing. He was one busy guy! I don’t believe I could have kept up with him. He had so many varied sports he participated in or watched. Mari, you had one handsome husband and may he Rest In Peace.
Kriss Erickson
Billings, MT

Sherry Farwell

Posted at 11:16pm
Griz never allowed life's issues to get in his way. He plowed forward from Ekalaka with confidence, work, family, friends and laughter. Griz was an upbeat person and enjoyed telling and hearing a funny story. I never met a person who did not like him. I certainly did! My sincere condolences to Marie, Sandy and the rest of the Welch family.

Kathy Duffy

Posted at 09:23pm
Gale known as Grandpa GRIZ or just GRIZ was my step-father. He was the best step-father a girl could ask for. He treated me like his blood. I have so many wonderful memories, but my favorite were all our camping adventures. We started out in a tent and then moving up to camper. We camped all the lakes up near Seeley. Then my favorite place in the world was at his place at Seeley that he ended up living at. We had so many good memories with family at Seeley. Gale loved his Montana GRIZ. He especially loved Griz football and he taught me to love it also. I loved hashing over the games with him. He even attended the National Championship title games with me. I will miss him so much, but will cherish all the wonderful memories we had. I love you, Kathy Duffy

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