Passed away May 6, 2018 after a short, but vigorous fight with cancer.
Buzzie was born January 23, 1947 in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada to Daniel and Mary Welch. The family moved to Boston at an early age and Buzzie attended Boston College High School. Buzzie came to Spokane in 1965 to attend Gonzaga University where he earned a BA in Education in 1969 and a MA in English in 1972.
Buzzie and the former Crissie Prietto met at GU and would have celebrated their 50-year wedding anniversary this August.
He taught school and coached in District 81 for 30 years beginning at Bancroft Elementary and then at Ferris and Lewis & Clark High Schools. Following his retirement, he taught and coached part-time at LC and Wenatchee High Schools for five additional years.
Although Buzzie is well known in Spokane for his success as a girls’ volleyball coach (see Spokesman-Review sports story May 8th), he always thought of himself as an educator first and a coach second. He brought the same off-beat sometimes zany humor and approach to life to the classroom as he did to the volleyball court.
Besides living the life of a spouse, father, teacher and coach, Buzzie also became a builder, developing a compound on Bartoo Island on Priest lake for his immediate and extended family. Most recently Buzzie & Crissie moved to the Big Island in Hawaii where they built a winter home with Buzzie performing many of the finishing construction tasks.
Buzzie was an ardent fan of the Boston Red Sox, Gonzaga basketball (both men & womens teams) and of travel near and far.
In 1981 Buzzie and Crissie packed their family off to Melbourne, Australia for a one-year teacher exchange, trading homes and teaching positions with an Australian family that moved into their home in Spokane.
The Welch’s developed a long-term relationship with several families in Mexico and often hosted exchange students. Buzzie also spent time in Mexico and taught elementary Spanish at LC later in his teaching career.
Buzzie put a smile on a lot of faces and will be missed by many.
He is survived by Crissie, his son Michael Welch (Larissa), daughters Maria Sevilla (Robert) and Shannon Pena (Miguel); nine grandchildren: Dominic, Daniel, Reegan, Nico, Cruz, Mateo, Andres, Salvador and Rafael.
Two brothers: Peter Welch (Kelly) of Portland, OR; Rob Welch (Gail) of Boston, MA; sisters Teresa Palmer (Steve) of Sierra Madre, CA and Renie Cantrick (Joel) of Boulder, CO. and over 50 nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank the doctors, nurses and attendants at Deaconess Hospital and St. Joseph Care Center for their support in the past weeks.
Memorial contributions are suggested to Reach For The Future, a partnership for educational success, Spokane. A Mass of Celebration will be held at 11:00 a.m., Friday, June 1 at St. Aloysius Church.