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Longtime member of NewsChannel 9 team Don Welch passes away

NewsChannel 9 veteran Don Welch passed away Sunday morning around 10 a.m. after a battle with Parkinson's disease and Lewy Body Dementia. (Image: WTVC)

UPDATE:

Bob Johnson and Darrell Patterson reflected on their relationship with Don Welch on Monday. Watch the full program here.

A public gathering to remember and celebrate Don's life will be held on Friday, October 20th from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Hamilton Funeral Home on Hixson Pike.

A private family service and commital will be held at a later date.

Those desiring may make a contribution in Don's name to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. You can contribute online here, or by mail, at Foundation Processing, Michael J. Fox Foundation, Post Office Box 5014, Hagerstown, MD 21741-5014.

PREVIOUSLY:

NewsChannel 9 veteran Don Welch passed away Sunday morning around 10 a.m. after a battle with Parkinson's disease and Lewy Body Dementia.

Don retired from NewsChannel 9 in 2014 as host of the midday community affairs show "This N That."


"Don was from this community and he truly loved this community and the community returned that to him in trust and love for years and years and years," said NewsChannel 9 News Director, Tom Henderson.

Don's wife Sammie tells us that he passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his family and in the care of hospice.

Watch several clips from a 1976 newscast featuring Don Welch in action here.

Welch worked for more than forty years in local television, starting WRCB in the early 1970's.


He joined WTVC in 1975 as a weatherman alongside news anchor Bob Johnson and sports reporter Darrell Patterson.


In the 1980's, his career included stops at WDEF, WGOW radio and WTVF in Nashville.

Welch returned to NewsChannel 9 in 1990 to host "Good Morning Don," which soon became "Good Morning Chattanooga."

Don will be remembered as the very definition of a people person.

He had the gift of gab, and never met a stranger.

Arrangements are expected to be made on Monday.

Official obituary from the Hamilton Funeral Home:

Emmitt N. “Don” Welch, Jr., passed away peacefully at his Hixson home, surrounded by family, on Sunday, October 15, 2017.
He was born on March 10, 1942, in Dayton, Tennessee, the son of the late Emmitt, Sr. and Mildred White Welch.
Don enjoyed a 52 year career as a broadcaster in the Chattanooga area working with WTVC News Channel 9 where he was affectionately known as “Grandpappy Welch”. Don also hosted Good Morning Chattanooga for many years and ended his career as host of This N That with Don Welch. He retired from the business he loved on April 23, 2014.
Don loved Chattanooga and was very active in many associations and clubs throughout the area. He was a 32nd Degree Mason and held memberships with the York Rite, the Scottish Rite, and the Alahambra Shrine. He was also active in the Royal Order of Jesters, Court 39, as well as, the Highlander Drum and Pipe Band. Don also served on the board for CADAS, the Hamilton County Beer Board and served as a former board member of Goodwill.
In addition to his parents, Don was also preceded in death by his mother-in-law, Muriel Donna McCoy.
Survivors include his wife, Sammie McCoy Welch; children, Cyndi (David) Finley, Stefannie Welch and Mitzi (Slate) Boyd; grandchildren, Ariel (Chad) Brunk, Logan (Ashton) Finley, Olivia and Jake Fuqua and Paytin Boyd; brother, Jack (Jody) Welch; and several nieces and nephews.
A public gathering to remember and celebrate his life will be held on Friday, October 20, 2017, from 4:00-8:00 pm at Hamilton Funeral Home, Hixson Pike.
A private family service and committal will be held at a later date.
Those desiring may make a contribution, in Don’s name, to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. Contributions may be made online at www.michaeljfox.org or by mail, Foundation Processing, Michael J. Fox Foundation, Post Office Box 5014, Hagerstown, MD 21741-5014.
Arrangements are by Hamilton Funeral Home & Cremation Services; 4506 Hixson Pike. 423-531-3975


Related: Ronald McDonald House Charities helps celebrate the life of Don Welch

Mike Dunne working with Don Welch, Blizzard of '93 and Don's Birthday

Bill Race, Melydia Clewell remember Don Welch

Don Welch Interview with Dolly Parton

Don Welch and the Chattanooga Fire Department

Full program: Bob Johnson & Darrell Patterson reflect on Don Welch

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