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Harold "Bud" Welch III '69 March 16, 2020 10:09 AM updated: March 16, 2020 10:14 AM

Harold Thornton Welch, III, PhD. – Texas A&M Class of 1969  - died October 6, 2019.  

Harold was in the Texas A&M Air ROTC, Titan X Executive Officer '69, Senior Class VP, Athletic Capt. & Sgt; Wichita Falls HTC President; SAM, Election Comm., Air Force Ball Chairman, Aggie Players, Senior Council; Handball Club and Most Athletic Fish and Soph; First Place Freshman Intramural Handball. After graduating in 1969 he spent the next ten years as a US Air Force Pilot. He served in Viet Nam flying 750 combat sorties in the  C-123 aircraft in the Air Tactical Command. He returned to the US at Tinker AFB with the rank of Captain, as Chief Pilot of base command.  After his tour here, he went to Randolph Air Force Base with the Air Training Command as a flight instructor for T-37 and T-38s. Harold received his  master’s degree in occupational training from St. Mary’s University.  At Lackland AFB he headed up the team that developed a cost-effective logistics training system for the Air Force Logistics Command.    

During his Air Force career Harold received many medals including the Distinguished Flying Cross (while in support of operations by "heroism or extraordinary achievement while in an aerial flight)  and three Air Commendation Medals.  Harold also has 4 Presidential Air Force sports awards and he held a commercial 727 pilot rating. 

The Air Force was only his first career.  Harold later worked with international oil companies around the world in Human Relations and Occupational Placement.   He earned a PhD and he gained decades of organization development experience as he moved into his final career with the US Office of Personnel Management in Washington DC.  In this role he worked with all the agencies in support and  succession planning oversight.. 
Harold’s patience, wit, wisdom, intelligence and interest in others, made him a friend  to hundreds during his lifetime.  His memory will live on with us as our neighbor, editor, a loving husband and friend.   He lived an exciting and full life filled with lots of love.  Celebration of Life for Harold was, November 15, 2019, at the First Presbyterian Church, on Alabama Street in Weaverville, North Carolina.  He is survived by his wife Penelope Rhodes Welch, children  Michael Welch, Jennifer Brush and Joanna Sanchez and 4 grandchildren.  


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