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Jane Fillerup Welch passed away December 22, 2023, in Elko, NV. She was baby girl number 4 out of 5, in the Marvan and Loraine FIllerup family. Born on April 6, 1939, she was raised in Lovell, Wyoming until her family moved to California during WWII to find better employment opportunities for her father. Post war, they returned to Lovell where they lived in a small modest home, complete with dirt floors on the outskirts of town. Although she was not raised with the finer things in life, Jane was determined to excel at every opportunity. Defying tradition, Jane became a gifted musician, playing the drums and leading the high school band as a drum majorette.
Shortly after her graduation from high school, Jane- now a stunning, willowy beauty standing at almost 5’10” tall - was introduced to the man she would enjoy a 65-year love affair with. Throughout her life she would call him the most handsome man she had ever seen and together they made a gorgeous couple. On August 23, 1957, she and John C. Welch were married for time and all eternity in the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Shortly after their marriage John’s military assignment would take them to Buffalo, NY, where Jane chose to contribute to their newly formed family by working in banking. After their military service was complete, the couple moved to Laramie, Wyoming where John would earn his undergraduate degree, and where their first child Jill, would join their family. Jennifer, their second daughter was born in Colorado during her husband’s tenure in medical school at the University of Colorado.
Wanting to see the world and choose a cultural experience for themselves and their family of 4, she and her husband chose Gorgas Hospital in the Panama Canal Zone as the destination for him to serve his medical residency. Shortly after their arrival in Panama their first son, Jeffrey, was born. This tropical destination was Jane’s Eden. She loved the warm weather, the multi-cultural environment, and the wonderful people working and living in the Canal Zone. Many of these people would become life-long friends of the couple and adopted family for their children. She vowed to return to Panama as they embarked on her husband’s medical career in Wyoming following the end of his residency.
Two more children, a son Courtney, and a daughter, Jacqueline were born in Wyoming before Jane’s wish of returning to Panama came true. While in Panama she became fluent in Spanish, learned to competitively ballroom dance with her husband, enjoyed professionally decorating cakes, was a runway model, and became a private pilot- all while raising 5 children and supporting her husband in his medical career.
Their sixth child Camron was also born in Panama. A dear friend phoned just two months after his birth to let Jane know that a set of twins was available for adoption in a Bolivian hospital. After a lot of prayer, they knew the twins were supposed to be a part of their family. It didn’t take long for them to be on a plane bound to meet their new boys, Jason and Joel. Now, with a family of 8 children they decided to move closer to family in the states, where two more boys, Jody and Christian, would be born over the next two years. Their family of 10 children was now complete.
Jane and John raised their children, first in Utah and then in Wyoming. Dedicated to her children’s activities, Jane attended countless concerts, programs, scout activities, games and meets of all sorts, as well as hundreds of wrestling matches. She was famous for being the loudest and most front-and-center wrestling mom at every tournament, usually slapping the corner of the mat while “coaching” her sons to pin their opponents. She loved her children and would show her momma bear side whenever any of them was threatened while also being the first to hold them accountable for their actions. She insisted on proper annunciation and there would be an immediate, unfavorable response if any of them happened to use ain’t or a double negative in any conversation. Proper posture was also expected although she was usually the only one sitting straight-backed after 2 days on high school bleachers during wrestling season. She had a whistle that was legendary. It was ear piercing and utilized regularly to cheer her offspring on, or to notify them that they were expected to be at home immediately after a day of playing in the neighborhood. Her children fondly remember Jane regularly saying, “You are beautiful. You are intelligent. And you can accomplish anything.”
After her children reached adulthood, she and her husband decided to continue their love affair with travel and caring for underprivileged communities serving medical and humanitarian missions with their church. Their destinations included living in Australia, serving two-year missions in Hong Kong and Chile, and finally enjoying time with a very large, extended family of children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren now living throughout the US and in Canada. Jane was graceful, beautiful, intelligent, and accomplished.
After waiting for her reunion with her beloved husband who preceded her in death, they are finally reunited for eternity. Her parents and four sisters Loraine, Luella, May, and Ruth also preceded her in death. A large extended family of in-laws and their spouses are celebrating her arrival too.
All of her children survive her and they include; Jill Welch of Cody, WY, Jennifer (Frank) Petty of Mesquite, NV, Jeffrey (Jeanette) Welch of Longmont, CO, Courtney (Suzanne) Welch of Elko, NV, Jacqueline (Randy) Welch-Schram of Belgrade, MT, Camron (Julie) Welch of Murphy, NC, Jason Welch of Spring, TX, Joel (Itzil) Welch of Houston, TX, Jody (Sara) Welch of Delta, CO, and Christian (Betsy) Welch of Rossland, BC, Canada. You can see Jane’s big eyes, her long slender legs, her artistic talents, her intelligence, her striking stature, and her eye-catching beauty in her 25 grandchildren (with one more on the way in May), and 17 great-grandchildren (and another on the way in February).
Jane’s family will be celebrating her life at the Cowley, Wyoming LDS Chapel Saturday, December 30th at 2pm. Services will be handled by Haskell Funeral Home in Lovell, Wyoming, and interment will take place following the celebration of life in the Cowley, Wyoming cemetery.