Steve Wesley Welch

Steve Wesley Welch, 51, of Chillicothe, Ill., joined his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ at 5:58 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, at home, surrounded by his family. He was born on Aug. 31, 1961, in Tyler to Vaughn "Bud" and Sandra (Martin) Welch. He married Janey Goodman on Jan. 4, 1992, in Houston.

Surviving are his parents, Vaughn "Bud" and Sandra, Tyler; wife, Janey; children, Matthew and Katie, Chillicothe, Ill.; and sister, Sheryl (Paul) Welch-Philpot, Tyler. Also surviving are his mother-in-law, Sharon Goodman; sister-in-law, Terry (Chet) Coffey; brother-in-law, Bob (Melissa) Goodman; nieces, Heidi, Lizzie and Sarah (Jeff); great-niece, Maycie; and nephews, Robert, Daniel, Justin (Andrea), Bryce and Cameron. He was preceded in death by his father-in-law, Robert W. Goodman Sr., and brother-in-law, Daniel L. Goodman, both in 2010.

Steve was a former member of Tallowood Baptist Church and University Baptist Church, Houston. In his early years, Steve loved to hunt and fish with his father, also known as "Pop." He lived in the country, enjoyed wildlife, identifying birds and other animals by sound. He continued his love for bird watching throughout his life, especially the bald eagles and pelicans along the Illinois River.

Steve was an active participant and coach of several sports throughout his life. He played golf in high school, was an avid runner during early/middle adulthood and also enjoyed disc golfing. He ran Tenneco marathons in Houston along with a multitude of fun runs around Houston and East Texas. He was a member of the Peoria Frisbee Club for several years and later decided to devote his life to coaching soccer for the Inter-Community Soccer League (ICSL) in Washington, Ill., as well as recreational leagues for Pearce Community Center. He served as community coordinator for Pearce Soccer and president of the ISCL for many years while maintaining certification as an Illinois patched soccer referee.

He received a civil engineering degree from Texas A&M University (1984) with recognition as Distinguished Student and membership in Chi Epsilon (National Civil Engineering Honor Society). He received the Outstanding Young Men of America Award in 1987 and later earned his Professional Engineering Licenses in 1990 (Texas) and 1993 (Illinois). He was currently a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Steve was called home after almost six years battling leiomyosarcoma, a rare smooth muscle/tissue cancer. Throughout his battle, he passionately maintained his activities, hobbies and employment at Lewis, Yockey, and Brown Engineering Inc. (El Paso, Ill.) until August of 2012.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday Nov. 23, 2012, at Weber-Hurd Funeral Home in Chillicothe, Ill. The Rev. Andy Tyler of First United Methodist Church in Hico will officiate. Interment will be in Chillicothe City Cemetery. A visitation service will be held Thursday, Nov. 22, from 5 to 8 p.m. at Weber-Hurd Funeral Home. Memorials may be made to Illinois Cancercare Foundation, St. Jude Children's Hospital or to the .

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Published in Tyler Morning Telegraph on Nov. 21, 2012