Gerald A. "Jerry" Welch, age 81, Kalamazoo, MI died peacefully at his home on January 28, 2017 in Kalamazoo. The son of Willard and Evelyn Welch, Jerry was born in a small town in Illinois and he spent his formative years in Elkhorn, Wisconsin where he successfully played football, basketball and baseball. He spent two years serving in the United States Army before returning to the University of Wisconsin where he played varsity football for the Badgers. In 1957 while in Madison, he met a fellow student named Lucy Tanner (a graduate of Kalamazoo Central high) who would later become his life partner for the next 58 years. Upon graduation in 1959, armed with a Dairy Science degree, fate led him to join the Upjohn Company as they were then launching the new veterinary division. A mighty competitor, Jerry spent the next 35 years there where he was promoted 15 times, culminating in his role as an Executive Vice President before retiring in 1994. Jerry is survived by his loving wife, Lucy Tanner Welch, his brother Wayne (Jerry) Welch, his four children and their spouses; Tom (Kathy) Welch, Laura (Matthew) Phillips, Greg (Sandy) Welch and Leah (Joe) Walters; eleven grandchildren; Remy, Mariah and Gerald Welch, Meredith and Olivia Phillips, Austin, Jacqueline, Lucy and Wylie Welch, and Grant and Paige Walters. Since retiring in 1994, Jerry split his time between Kalamazoo and Naples, FL. He remained active in a variety of business ventures as a non-executive director. Jerry very much enjoyed his time spent at a variety of golf clubs including Kalamazoo and Gull Lake Country Clubs, Bonita Bay, Olde Florida and Royal Poinciana in Naples. He was elected to the US Seniors Golf Association where he was an active participant. His favorite memories were those sharing his unique style of generosity and humor with his wife, children and his grandkids, who affectionately referred to him as "Coach." A memorial service will be held at 11 am on Saturday, Feb. 4th, 2017 at: First United Methodist Church, 212 S. Park Street, Kalamazoo, MI 49007. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials be made to either: Hospital Hospitality House Inc, 527 W. South St, Kalamazoo, MI 49007 or to Friends of the Salvation Army, PMB#372, 24600 S. Tamiami Trail, Bonita Springs, FL 34134.