Carolyn Ann Bailey Welch, age 58, passed away April 3rd, 2021 at 10:37 p.m. in the home she had shared with her loving companion of 40 years, Jeff. She was surrounded by the love of Jeff and their two children in her final moments after unknowingly fighting lung and bone cancer. She had beat cancer two times previously in her young life.
Carolyn was born to Roger Bailey and Helene Gilboe on February 21, 1963 in Hammond, IN and lived in many places during her adolescence. She has always been a close confidant and friend to her sisters Debbie, Sandy, Tina, and Brandy and got into an appropriate amount of shenanigans with them.
During her Senior year at Brighton High School, she met Jeff Welch at their mutual place of employment - Taco Bell. They secretly eloped to a local court judge and were married in the eyes of the law on June 15, 1981 (two weeks after her graduation) and thus began their legacy of love. Two years later they would be sealed for time and all eternity in the eyes of God in the Salt Lake City LDS Temple.
Shortly after their first anniversary, they had their oldest child Aroura and 3 years later, they added Tyrel. Carolyn was always an involved, hands-on parent - often play wrestling, giving piggyback rides, playing games, and reading with her children. Even when battling demons of her own (from depression, to juggling work/life balance before there was a phrase for that, to her consistent struggle with feelings of inadequacy), she cared most about the people she cared for. From homework assignments to extracurricular activities, to taking walks, to comforting heartbreaks, to salt-of-the-earth sage advice - she was there.
She also provided those things to kids she taught in primary, cub scouts, young women, and friends of her kids. She always had a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on or a quick joke with a smile for everyone. In almost any situation, she was the glue that brought everyone together - neighborhood, work colleagues, her parents and siblings, Jeff's family - she was the first to reach out, the first to smooth the waters, and she was the most persistent to encourage people to work things out. Her ability to empathize with others was a marvelous thing to behold and earned her the title of "defense lawyer" by her family for her ability to immediately see the best-intentioned explanation for anyone's actions.
Carolyn had an insatiable appetite to grow in knowledge and skill. She set an example of learning new things at any age - with good old-fashioned grit (and perhaps some colorful words), she tackled new daunting things despite having to also fight her own feelings of being overwhelmed. She often thought those feelings meant she wasn't strong, but anyone who knew her saw her strength. Over the past few years, she had started tackling those feelings of inadequacy head-on as well and taking inspiration from Brene Brown and Mel Robbins foremost amongst many others.
She had a love of amusement parks - most particularly roller coasters. The more terrifying to most, the more interested she was in riding it. She loved trying new things - whether it was training for a triathlon, taking a boot camp class, doing a bike race, learning to decorate cakes, learning how to do origami so she could give grandkids cash in a creative way, looking up new games to have the grandkids play at the parties she and Jeff would throw; but, most of all she loved people. Foremost among those, her husband, and the family they had built together, but everyone she came across was treated and loved like family and they knew it.
She will be missed by any who knew her, whether it was only for an hour or for a lifetime - for to know Carolyn, was to love Carolyn.
Her family would genuinely love for anyone who knew her to attend all the following:
A viewing will be held on Saturday, April 10, 2021 from 1:30 – 2:45 p.m. at Butler West Stake Center (1845 E 7200 S, Cottonwood Heights, UT 84121). A Life Celebration will be held afterwards at 3 PM.
Interment will follow at 5:15 p.m. at Larkin Sunset Lawn (2350 E 1300 S, SLC, UT 84108).