"He never stopped talking about it," said his son-in-law David J. Gillespie.
Born in Fitchburg, Mass., Mr. Welch attended St. Bernard's Elementary and High School in Fitchburg and earned a degree in chemistry from the University of Notre Dame.
He served with the Army's 94th Chemical Mortar Battalion in Europe during World War II, was honorably discharged, and then went to Tufts University to earn a master's degree in chemistry.
Mr. Welch loved study and travel. During his 32 years of retirement, he studied opera, classical music, painting, photography, and European history at Villanova University. Then he traveled the globe to experience firsthand what he had learned.
Mr. Welch was an avid bicyclist. He traveled with an elder-hostel cycling group from Villanova that toured England, Ireland, Denmark, France, Switzerland, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, and Belgium. He also enjoyed photography, taking hundreds of photos of his travels and mounting the best on the walls at his home.
He attended Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church in Springfield. After retiring to Riddle Village in the late 1990s, he attended St. Francis de Sales Roman Catholic Church in Aston.
His wife, Mary Jane Sugg Welch, died in 1981.
He is survived by daughters Pamela Jane Gillespie, Patricia Karen, Catherine Santoro Felix, and Eileen Mary; seven grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and a brother.
A viewing at 9 a.m. Saturday, June 14, at St. Francis de Sales Roman Catholic Church, 35 New Rd., Aston, will be followed by a 10 a.m. Funeral Mass at the church. Interment is in SS. Peter and Paul Cemetery.
Donations may be made to the Notre Dame Alumni Association: www.mynotredame.nd.edu/give.