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Colonel Mark A. Welsh, Jr. - USAR - ret.

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Colonel Mark A. Welsh, Jr. - USAR - ret.

Posted: 12 May 2008 3:34PM GMT
Classification: Obituary
Surnames: Welsh
Col. Mark A. (Mick) Welsh, Jr., USAF (ret), 84, Command Pilot, Parachutist, Glider Pilot, former member of a jet aerial demonstration team, and long-time Onion Creek Club resident, died May 10, 2008. Col. Welsh graduated from Texas A&M University (Class of '46) with a BS in Geology. He also graduated from the Naval War College Command and Staff School and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces National Security Management Course. He served on Active Duty during World War II, the Korean campaign, and the Vietnam conflict. His nearly 7,000 hours of tactical flying time included over 500 in combat. As a result of his participation in eight major battle campaigns and a combat glider assault, Colonel Welsh was decorated for gallantry in action, bravery under fire, aerial achievement and operational and administrative excellence. For his post-World War II training efforts with the German and Spanish Air Forces, he was awarded pilot wings from both countries. He is also one of the few Americans to be honored with the Spanish Cross of Aeronautical Merit. During the mid-1950s, Colonel Welsh flew left wing and alternate lead positions with the U.S. Air Force's Europe "Acrojets", an aerial demonstration team. The "Acrojets" participated in over 70 international air shows throughout Europe and the Middle East before millions of spectators. In addition to various tactical assignments in troop carrier, fighter and reconnaissance aircraft as a flight commander, squadron commander, wing commander and air division vice-commander, Colonel Welsh served on the Joint Chiefs of Staff Central Control Group aboard the USS Northampton for two years. After retirement from the Air Force in 1976, he joined Petroleum Extension Service (PETEX) of The University of Texas at Austin. He retired from PETEX as assistant director in 1987. Colonel Welsh served on the Parish Council and was an extraordinary minister at St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church for many years. He was also appointed to Austin Mayor Roy Butler's original tri-ethnic committee, on which he served one year. Colonel Welsh was preceded in death by his beloved daughter, Monica Marie and sister, Gloria Wrase. He is survived by his devoted wife of 56 years, Margaret (Peg); son and daughter-in-law, Major General Mark Welsh and Betty Welsh, USAF; daughter and son-in-law, Mary Nan and Greg Leinweber of San Antonio, Texas; daughter, Molly Anderson of Austin; daughter and son-in-law, Maureen and Vince Farelli of Austin; daughter and son-in-law, Margaret Elisa (Puff) and Buddy Rogers of Vincennes, Indiana; son and daughter-in-law Jim and Dr. Jenifer Welsh of Austin; brother-in- law, Robert Wrase of Austin; seven grandsons, five granddaughters, three great-grandsons, one great-granddaughter, nieces, nephews and cousins. A Christian Wake Service will be held at 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, 13 May, at Harrell Funeral home, 4435 Frontier Trail. Viewing is also available that evening either before or after the Wake Service, from 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated 10:00 a.m., Wednesday, 14 May at St. Peter the Apostle Church, 4600 E. Ben White Blvd., followed by burial in Live Oak Cemetery. Monsignor Fred Bomar will officiate, assisted by Father Jim Sheerin; both are long-time personal friends. Colonel Welsh's grandsons will serve as his pallbearers. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the St. Peter's Building Fund or to the Monica Welsh Memorial Scholarship Fund, Texas A&M University, 12th Man Foundation, P.O. Drawer L-1, College Station, TX 77844.

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