Alfred Floyd Welch passed away surrounded by his loving family on Friday evening, July 28. He was born on Dec. 30, 1938, in Lee. Alfred graduated from Madison High School and then served 10 years in the National Guard. Later, he earned his bachelor’s degree from Florida A&M University. Alfred married Elizabeth Meetze in February of 1960; and after a brief stint in Jacksonville, Fl., returned to his native Lee, where he and Libby reared the family and became pillars of support for their church and community.
Alfred was a Shriner, a Mason, a member of the Lions Club and a leader in the First United Methodist Church of Lee. Ever a people person, Alfred served as Madison County Commissioner and retired as Clerk of the Court for Madison County. In his work life, when he wasn’t serving in public office, Alfred spent several years as a correctional officer for the state of Florida. Always and forever a farmer on the side, Alfred became a real estate broker with Searcy Realty in Madison, where he spent his last working years.
Alfred never met a stranger, found the good in all he met, loved his family deeply and was an inspiration to all whose paths crossed his. His glass was at least always half full, if not overflowing. He would give you the shirt off his back and still ask if you were hungry. He saw life as a never-ending opportunity to serve the Lord, laugh and live each day to the fullest.
Alfred thought there was nothing he couldn’t do; and when reality occasionally proved him wrong, he continued to laugh at himself and go to the next event of life, his confidence undeterred! Trying to fix his outboards while twenty miles out in the Gulf was a recurring experience where several times his overconfidence gave him the opportunity to experience the service of the Coast Guard in a tow back to the marina! If ever a soul lived the poem’s line, “Laugh and the world laughs with you; weep and you weep alone,” it was Alfred. His smile, positive outlook on life and eternal belief in tomorrow being better than today, affected all with whom he dealt and endeared him not just to family but a host of friends and acquaintances.
Alfred is survived by his beloved wife of 57 years, Libby; daughter, Vivian Searcy Milton (John); son, Allen Welch (Heather); granddaughters, Alexandria McCall (Carson) and Ashlyn Welch (Travis); grandsons, Rob Searcy (Kristin) and Cooper Welch (Caitlin); great-grandson, Grant Carson McCall; and two sisters, Wanda Hodnett and Alvera Rhoades. He was preceded in death by his parents, Ted and Kathleen Welch; and brother, Dale Welch.
The family received friends and guests on Monday, July 31, from 9:30 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Lee. A Memorial Service followed at the church at 11 a.m. Interment followed at the Macedonia Baptist Church Cemetery in Lee. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, 4458 NE County Rd. 255, Lee, Fl., 32059 or to The Madison Youth Ranch, PO Box 38 Pinetta, Fl. 32350.