James (Jim) Newel Welch (92) passed from this life in the early morning hours of June 6, 2019 on the 75th anniversary of WWII D-Day. He was born July 20, 1926 in Tremonton, Utah to Samuel Welch and Minnie Jane Hughes. He grew up during the Great Depression working on the family farm in Harper and attending school in Brigham City, where he learned the virtue of hard work and getting by. He graduated from Box Elder High School in May of 1944. In July he joined the US Navy, and by August he found himself at the Farragut Naval Training Center in northern Idaho. Following training, he was assigned to the USS Passig, a desalination tanker that supplied fresh water to troops fighting on the various island in the Pacific theater.
Known as Newel by family and childhood friends, he found that if he wanted to collect pay in the Navy he would answer to James; later changed to Jim in professional life. His sister Naola attended school with Lynne Hunsaker, who asked about him from time to time. She gave Lynne his address, and they corresponded for about 18 months and then started dating upon his return. They were married in the Logan Utah Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on July 16, 1947.
They attended Utah State Agricultural College (now Utah State University), bought their first home and started a family. Jim went on to earn a Civil Engineering degree. He was hired by the Idaho Department of Transportation on July 1, 1950, working out of Downey, Idaho, then transferred to American Falls and then to Pocatello in August of 1951, where he was a resident engineer. While in Pocatello, he had responsibilities to oversee the construction of the first interstate highways built in the state. In 1966 he was transferred to Boise as a Bridge Design Engineer and then filled a newly created position as Bridge Maintenance Engineer. He was responsible for inventorying and testing state and county bridges to meet federal standards. He retired from the Idaho Department of Transportation in July of 1993 after 43 years.
After the move to Boise, Jim took on work keeping books and doing tax preparation. He was a principal partner and startup owner of Comprehensive Tax Service. He worked there until he was in his 80s.
He was preceded in death by his parents, wife, siblings Sam, Naola Dean, Jonathan, Minnie Lewis and Thomas, and daughter Lynda.
He is survived by his brother Garth (Melba), his sons Lee (Joyce), Kevyn (Linda) and Dennis, 13 grandchildren, and 25 great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held Tuesday, June 11, 2019, 11:00am, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints chapel, 8620 Goddard Rd., Boise, with a viewing 10:00-10:45am before the service. Interment will follow at 2:00pm at Dry Creek Cemetery, Boise.