We are all diminished today by the passing from this life of W. Scott “Scotty” Welch, but we were all made richer by his presence in our lives. Scotty died in his beloved garden on the morning of June 14, 2019. He was a presence in every room, and now he fills an even greater space.

Scotty was born on September 7, 1939, in Jackson, Mississippi, the only child of Velma Lou and Walter Welch. He was a proud graduate of Sewanee, The University of The South, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree cum laude in 1961, his diploma and Phi Beta Kappa recognition adorning the walls of his office. He received his Bachelor of Laws degree, with distinction, in 1964 from the University of Mississippi. After three years of service to our country in the United States Air Force, serving as Assistant Staff Judge Advocate at Vandenberg Air Force Base, he began a five-decade commitment to justice and law in Mississippi.

Through his career, he served on every board of jurisprudence in Mississippi and was the recipient of every honor, distinction, and recognition an attorney can receive. He was a past President of The Mississippi Bar, a past National President of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) and of the Foundation. He would be embarrassed by a listing of more honors, but a walk through his office tells you those of which he is the most proud: the 2012 Mississippi Defense Lawyers Association Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award from The Mississippi Bar Association, and the 2016 Professionalism Award from the Capital Area Bar Association. And as you enter his house, most proudly displayed is the 2016 Edmund S. Muskie Pro Bono Award for his tireless service on behalf of those most needing his commitment and the justice of a system he so assiduously believed in.

He was a compassionate and insightful attorney, one of that breed of Gentleman Attorney. He was prepared, deft, and ferocious in the courtroom, a tireless advocate, but at the end of the day, win or lose, there was that smile, and the knowledge that our system of justice was served. And know this:  your attorney, whether adversary, partner or peer, knows, respects and loves Scotty Welch and was encouraged to greater allegiance to the law by his friendship, challenge and example.

He leaves behind his wife Jo Ann Sudduth Welch, daughters Hermine Peel (Chuck), Kasi Beck (Tom), Karen Gilder (Ward Emling), Laurel Loflin; and sons Walt Welch, Dennis Graham, and David Gilder (Carrie); thirteen grandchildren and one great grandchild. A dog lover, he was especially fond of Karen’s beloved dog, Manning...which is further explained by his love of Ole Miss.

Always a man of faith, he became a student of the Bible and was committed to the service of the Church in our community. He believed, as said one of his heroes, President Ronald Reagan, “Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face.” (And “women” he would have quickly amended.) A member of Northminister Baptist Church, he approached each Sunday with zeal and determination and joy.

We all spend our lives becoming; in search of perfection, of mission and of vocation, always seeking to become more. Scotty was becoming, always. He made each day greater than the one before and inspired the better angels of our nature in all he touched.

Visitation will be at Northminster Baptist Church, 3955 Ridgewood Road in Jackson, on Wednesday, June 19, 2019, from noon until 2 pm, with a memorial service to follow at 2 pm.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Harbor House, a treatment facility for those struggling with addictions, on whose board he served on for many years, 5354 S. Frontage Road, Jackson, MS  39727; or to his beloved Northminster Baptist Church, 3955 Ridgewood Road, Jackson, MS  39211.

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