THE WELCH COMPANY
440 Davis Court #1602
San Francisco, CA 94111-2496
415 781 5700
S U M M A R Y
DIARY: March 7, 1997 12:30 PM Friday;
Funeral for Uncle Roy in Palo Alto.
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Uncle Jim, Aunt Barbara
0504 - ..
0505 - Summary/Objective
050601 - Followed up work at ref SDS 8 0000, ref SDS 6 0000.
050602 - ..
050603 - The funeral for Uncle Roy was at:
050605 - Alta Mesa Memorial Park Cemetery
050606 - 695 Arastedro Road
050607 - Palo Alto, CA
050608 - 415 493 1041
050610 - ...this is where Pat and Grandmother are buried. It is our second
050611 - funeral in the past 4 months or so, as Aunt Dorothy passed away
050612 - last November. ref SDS 7 0000.
050614 - [On 970310 called Aunt Barbara. ref SDS 11 0000]
050616 - [On 990108 funeral for Stephanie. ref SDS 12 9792]
050618 - Millie called from Concord and said there is radio report that the Bay
050619 - Bridge is backed up for miles. I suggested she take the Benecia
050620 - Martinez bridge to Benecia then take Highway 80 across the Carquinez
050621 - Bridge to the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, and then take US 101 through
050622 - Sausalito across the Golden Gate Bridge to San Francisco. She will
050623 - try this.
050625 - Directions to get to Alta Mesa are at ref SDS 1 line 39.
050627 - I called Alta Mesa Funeral Parlor and got additional directions:
050629 - Take Page Mill exit. Go back left under the freeway. At 2nd stop
050630 - light on Foothill Expressway, turn right then again at 2nd stop
050631 - light on Arastedro.
050633 - Millie arrived about 1140. We were fortunate in getting out of the
050634 - City fairly quickly, and were able to reach the Alta Mesa Cemetery
050635 - about 1225. We saw a funeral procession of cars and a hearse that we
050636 - had seen earlier driving South on highway #280, and had thought it
050637 - might be Uncle Roy. Nobody looked familiar, but I asked if it might
050638 - the Roy Welch funeral, and someone said it wasn't. We drove back to
050639 - the entrance and asked someone in the office for directions. A woman
050640 - showed us from the doorway the group assembling further up the road
050641 - from the funeral we had thought was for Uncle Roy.
050643 - By the time we drove around to the funeral location, Judy and Norman
050644 - were arriving as we crossed the street. Uncle Ray looked well, and
050645 - introduced us to his wife again, Debbie. We visited with Uncle Jim
050646 - and Aunt Barbara. The car had not yet arrived from the Yountville VA
050647 - home with the casket carrying Uncle Roy. A number of Judy and
050648 - Norman's children came to the funeral, along with a Linda's kids, who
050649 - of course are adults now. Mike Welch arrived and passed out directions
050650 - to a restaurant where we met shortly after the burial.
050652 - Uncle Roy's grave is next to Uncle Pat who died in 1992, ref SDS 1
050653 - 8388. I noticed that Uncle Pat's grave stone had an insignia showing
050654 - his US Navy service. It looked very impressive in its simplicity.
050656 - Somebody pointed out Grandmother's grave about 30 yards away under
050657 - some trees. I walked over there, and Millie joined me. There was a
050658 - common gravestone for Jason and Grace Wolfe. She was born in 1889,
050659 - near the end of the "Wild West." This means she was about 78 years
050660 - old when she died, rather than 65, as I had been given to understand
050661 - previously. My thoughts reflected on Uncle Jim's family history,
050662 - which was received and reviewed on 941109 at ref SDS 3 line 70, and to
050663 - the analysis his writing spawned on the American heritage, ref SDS 4
050664 - line 65.
050666 - A short time later the van arrived with Uncle Roy. I helped carry it
050667 - along with Uncle Ray and others the short distance to the burial
050668 - place. We got it positioned easily. The configuration is aided by
050669 - rollers that make it possible to slide the casket along runners into
050670 - final position. Somebody, possibly Aunt Barbara, placed a booklet
050671 - prepared to show some recent photographs of Uncle Roy and a news
050672 - article going back over 50 years to the time he was in the service
050673 - during World War II. The article recounted Uncle Roy's work in
050674 - handling munitions for fighter airplanes, and there was a picture of
050675 - Uncle Roy as a young man in uniform. There was another fairly recent
050676 - picture of Uncle Roy, Uncle Jim and Uncle Pat at my Dad's funeral in
050677 - 1979.
050679 - Aunt Barbara spoke with Millie and I, and she mentioned they are
050680 - having a surprise birthday party for Uncle Jim on Sunday. Evidently
050681 - his birthday is today or tomorrow, but the party will be on Sunday.
050683 - [Actually, it turned out that they had the surprise birthday party
050684 - today, at the gathering of the family following the burial, and
050685 - his birthday is on Sunday, per, ref SDS 10 line 65.]
050687 - The minister gave some stirring remarks from the Methodist tradition.
050688 - I think he noted that Grandmother was a Methodist, and while Uncle Roy
050689 - was not active in the Church, he was closest to the Methodists. These
050690 - remarks, ref DRT 1 line 44, were actually prepared by Uncle Jim per
050691 - his transmittal to the minister at, ref DRT 1 line 15.
050692 - ..
050693 - It was a warm day with an intermittently brisk breeze. It blew
050694 - over a stand of flowers [one of the two that Peggy and Karen had sent,
050695 - per ref SDS 10 line 58] just before the ceremony began. Someone set
050696 - it backup and managed to force the legs into the ground well enough
050697 - that this did not occur again. The wind blew the American flag that
050698 - draped Uncle Roy's coffin it seemed this might cause the booklet on
050699 - Uncle Roy that was open vertically on the casket, to be blow over too,
050700 - and fall, but for some reason it didn't.
050702 - The minister noted that Uncle Roy was the "rock" in the family, ref
050703 - DRT 1 line 77, who cared for his mother, ref DRT 1 line 68, as he had
050704 - earlier done his duty for his country in the "great" war. I thought
050705 - at various times he was about to end his remarks, but continued on,
050706 - and so it seemed he was speaking too long, and yet I enjoyed very much
050707 - all that he said, including passages from the Bible.
050709 - Jimmy Welch then read an account prepared by Uncle Jim of Uncle Roy's
050710 - war record, ref DRT 1 line 100, which included time in Egypt, I think
050711 - the Middle East, Scicily, Itally, France and I think Austria, indeed
050712 - all the major theaters of the European action.
050714 - I said a few words about how Uncle Roy had helped our family in so
050715 - many ways over the years, and noted the wonderful times he helped make
050716 - possible with the entire Welch family gathering several times a month
050717 - at Grandmothers for many, many years. He helped our Dad with
050718 - assignments over the years in constructing their garage, and 4 or 5
050719 - major improvements to the home on Seagul way, and he got contract
050720 - assignments for Dad at the Sunkist plant. Of course he was always
050721 - there when the recurring problems arose with by Dad and Mom-Dorothy,
050722 - and so to me he was the "rock" the minister spoke of, ref DRT 1 line
050723 - 78.
050724 - ..
050725 - Finally, Uncle Jim stood and spoke. He observed that Uncle Roy
050726 - and he are the last of a special breed of Americans who came from the
050727 - Western plains to build and protect a nation through challenging
050728 - times. He spoke eloquently and movingly of their early life on the
050729 - farm in Kansas that forged strong character. It sounds like Uncle Roy
050730 - and Uncle Jim sort of grew up together as the middle sons, similar to
050731 - David and Eddie in our family, so there is a special bond between
050732 - them. His strong feelings about Uncle Roy and the Welch family were
050733 - clearly reflected in his remarks and the tone of his delivery. I was
050734 - reminded again by Uncle Jim's bearing and delivery of discussions with
050735 - General Hatch, who commanded the Army Corps of Engineers.
050737 - [Actually got a call from Hank later in the day, when Millie and I
050738 - got back to Concord, ref SDS 9 line 92.]
050740 - Following these remarks, Uncle Ray and Bill, who I think is Rita's
050741 - husband, folded the US flag in military style. I am not sure what the
050742 - disposition of the flag will be.
050744 - After the funeral, we drove to the restaurant on Alpine Road, near
050745 - Stanford University. We took this same route many times when we lived
050746 - in Cupertino growing up, and Dad had home improvement projects in
050747 - Atherton; and then later as an adult, this was a common route to get
050748 - to Pat and Peg's place in Menlo Park. Millie and I visited for about
050749 - 30 minutes or so. One of Judy and Norman's daughter's talked at length
050750 - with Millie about her children and their life working for her Dad's
050751 - business.
050753 - We then had to leave to reach Stockton for the event with Richard
050754 - Popejoy and that group before traffic gets too snarled on Friday
050755 - afternoon. Jimmy, Uncle Jim and Aunt Barbara were arriving just as
050756 - were pulling out, so we waved and made a hurried explanation of this
050757 - hasty leave, hurrying to the next tick on the clock.
050759 - Aunt Barbara said they will try to plan a family event so we can get
050760 - together without the aura of another funeral.