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Theodore Martin Welp ’55 and Dolores Elaine (Bruno) Welp of Boise, ID, died Sunday, March 8, 2015, unexpectedly and tragically in their home. Ted was born in Colma, CA on June 13, 1934. Elaine was born in her Grandmother Rose’s cabin at the base of Mount Borah in Custer County, ID on May 8, 1938. They were devoted to each other for 57 years, and through the combination of Ted’s optimism and Elaine’s love, they created a truly incredible life together. They were devoted parents to their four children, making numerous life choice to guarantee that their deaf son Tom had a life full of opportunities and experiences equal to those available to their other children.
As a kid, Ted work with his father Martin in the landscaping and walnut growing businesses. He attended Santa Clara University on a baseball scholarship, going on to play baseball for the US Army team. He loved playing golf and had a 7 handicap. He never met a dessert he didn’t like; one of his favorites was a chocolate dipped ice cream cone. He was lauded as a financial genius, working for GE, PG&E, TEP and Alamito. To his kids he was just Dad.
Elaine was a fantastic cook, a member of the Southern Arizona Watercolor Guild, an avid reader, and proud of her rough and tumble Mackay roots. She was an early advocate and supporter of the value of sign language for the deaf, as well as an early and continuous supporter for the Community Outreach Program for the Deaf in Tucson, AZ. Elaine also directed the Dove Foundation which supported various causes, many of which focused on eye research, Catholic charities and the deaf and blind community. Mom’s cowgirl spirit brought them back to Idaho in the early 90’s, where she and Ted spent summers in Stanley, ID surrounded by the peace and beauty of nature, and the love of their children, grandchildren and friends. In our family, there were two spoken rules: education is number 1, and always take care of your family. There was also an unspoken rule: love as big as you can.
They are survived by their children and their children’s spouses, Katherine (Jim) Nesci, George (Tiffany Roberts) Welp, and Lori (Guy) Hudson. In addition they are survived by their grandchildren who they loved dearly, Katie, Clay, Lily, Evy, Alexandra, Victoria, Ean, Dylan and Jace, as well as Ted’s sister and her spouse, Rosie (Joe) Keebler, his brother-in-law Harold Schulz and their nephews and nieces: Kenneth P. Schulz ’81, Douglas, Audrey, Katie and Paula. They were preceded in death by their son Martin Theodore Welp who died of complications soon after birth; and died at the same time as their devoted and caring son, Tom. They were also preceded in death by their parents, Martin and Paula Welp, George and Miriam Bruno, and Ted’s sister Betty Schulz.