05/30/1960 - 01/31/2019
Merla Welch was reunited with her beloved parents, Jay Evard Welch and Marcelle Beecher Welch and sister, Melinda Welch Bell, on January 31, 2019. Merla was born May 30, 1960 into a family with five older sisters and the best parents possible for a child with Down syndrome. Merla possessed an incredible gift of love, radiating light to all around her. Children held a special place in her heart and she affectionately called them her “little ones.” She drew people to her everywhere she went and her sweet spirit influenced us all for good. Her passing leaves a tremendous void in our family, and well beyond.
Merla was a fan of all things Disney, especially the parks, cruises and classic princesses. Merla loved plastic straws, paper shapes, word searches, M&M’s and ice cream “like a mountain.” Her favorite color was a shade she called “Disney” blue. She always enjoyed going to movies, taking rides in the car, going on trips, and being with family. Merla’s dream jobs included being an airline pilot, singer, or news anchor, or – a job she thought up herself – working at a hospital naming all the babies. In her later years she really wanted to try sky diving, but would reluctantly admit that it was just “too dangerous.”
Merla proudly graduated from South High, and spent many years in a day program at Ability and Choice where, taking after her father, she conducted the annual Christmas Choir ~ with her own unique flair. She was well cared for by Columbus Community Center staff for most of her adult life. She adored Courtney, Sarah, her other many amazing caregivers, and her longtime roommate, Lorie.
Merla will be deeply missed by her sisters and “brothers:” Megan and Eric Hayes, Michele and Douglas Herrscher, Maile and Don Verbica, Marlyse Timmins, and Ken and Pat Bell; and by her 20 nieces and nephews, and 40 great-nieces and -nephews.
Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, February 6, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. at the Yalecrest Ward, 1035 South 1800 East, Salt Lake City, Utah, with a visitation that morning from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Merla will be laid to rest next to her parents at Farmington City Cemetery.