Former Director Of Diaconate Dies
February 9, 2023
PELL CITY, Ala.—Thomas Claggett Welch, 79, died on Jan. 28.
In the Diocese of Rockford, he was ordained to the permanent diaconate in 1979 and served at SS. Peter and Paul Parish, Cary, until 1998, also serving for a time in the apostolate for marriage preparation. He was associate director of deacon formation from August 1994 to June 1996 and became director of the Diocesan Office of the Permanent Diaconate effective July 1, 1996. He was executive director of the National Association of Diaconate Directors from Jan. 1, 1997-June 30, 2003. 
From Jan. 21, 1999 to 2006, he served as a deacon at Holy Family Parish in Rockford, and again was director of the Office of the Permanent Diaconate from Oct. 7, 2002-June 30, 2006. 
In 2006, he and his wife Nancy moved to Phoenix, where he served as a deacon. 
He then moved to Swansee and served at St. Augustine of Canterbury Parish in the Diocese of Belleville, 2007-2008.
Sometime after the death of his first wife, Welch requested and received laicization and was married to his second wife, Charmaine, in the Catholic Church. He was a member of Our Lady of the Lake Parish in Pell City at the time of his death.
Welch was predeceased by his parents, his first wife, and his brother. 
He is survived by his second wife, his son and daughter, one stepson and two stepdaughters, along with five grandchildren, six stepgrandchildren and a great-granddaughter.
His funeral Mass was held at his Pell City parish on Feb. 4.
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