James Irving “Jimmy” Welch, 72, of Hamlet, completed his earthly journey on Monday, October 30, 2023.
Jimmy was born August 26, 1951 in Richmond County, a son of the late Cleophus Marion Welch and the late Elizabeth Long Welch Harrison. Jimmy was a graduate of Rockingham High School, Class of 1969, attended Pembroke College, where he was on the Deans List and completed his education at Richmond Community College. Juice as he was known, began bowling in 1960 at OK Bowling Center in Richmond County, was on the Pro Bowler Circuit from 1972-1979, and owned and operated Rockingham Bowling Center and Juices Sports Bar from 1988-2004. He also worked with the Rockingham Fire Department, Burlington Industries, Clark Equipment and after retirement from the Bowling Center, Richmond County School System. He became a member of the Masonic Brotherhood at the Rockingham Lodge #495 A.F. & A.M and later moved his membership to the Hamlet Lodge #532, A.F.& A.M.. He was an avid sports fan, especially the Richmond Raiders, where he called football games for 14 years and baseball games for 15 years. He sang for several years with Eastern Seaboard Band, enjoyed all sports, music and was an avid collector of race memorabilia, records, baseball cards coins and many other things. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his son-in-law, Bruce Gillespie.
Surviving are his wife of 27 years, Judy White Welch; children, David Welch and Laura Welch; grandchildren, Maggie Gillespie, Kayleigh Welch and D.J. Welch; brother, Bobby Welch and step-son, Ray Cloninger.
A service to celebrate Jimmy’s life will be at 2:00 pm Friday, November 3, 2023 at Carter Funeral Home in Rockingham with Rev. Joel Perry and Mr. David Adeimy officiating. Masonic Rites will follow the service.
The family will receive friend from 6:00 – 8:00 pm Thursday at Carter Funeral Home in Rockingham.