Joseph Welsh

Joseph Welsh ( / April 29, 2013)

Mr. Welsh and his wife were marriage facilitators, serving for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore, in Florida when they lived there briefly, and later when they moved to Loganville, Pa., after having been longtime Cockeysville residents.

For the past decade, Mr. Welsh was a volunteer and a pastoral and Eucharistic minister at Stella Maris Hospice in Timonium, where his wife joined him in his work.

Maryanne Yannarell, director of volunteer services at Stella Maris, said prospective hospice volunteers have to fill out a form.

"One of the questions is, 'Why do you want to become a hospice volunteer?'" she said. "In his handwriting, Joe had written, 'Because as long as Christ did it to the least of my brothers, you did it unto me. I want to stay close to Christ.'"

She added: "That's what our volunteers are all about, and Joe was one of our best."

Ms. Yannarell said that the couple came every Tuesday night to work in the in-patient unit and in pastoral care.

"Joe loved to tell stories and he loved a good joke. He was an extrovert but in a quiet sort of way. He was not overbearing," she said.

Sister Kathy Dauses, a member of the Sisters of St. Francis, is the chaplain in the hospice inpatient unit.

"To be able to give comfort to patients and their families is a gift," said Sister Kathy. "Joe had a deep faith and he was able to share with those who were overwhelmed with the reality of the death of their loved ones."

Sister Kathy said that even after the couple moved to Loganville, they continued their Tuesday night shift.

"They had a faithfulness to hospice and would come on Tuesday evenings at 6:30," she said. "They had the special gift of time, faith and humor. Joe could always see the positive in things."

After moving to Oak Crest, Mr. Welsh continued his work as a pastoral visitor and Eucharistic minister in the retirement community's health center.

Mr. Welsh was a basketball fan and especially enjoyed March Madness, family members said. He also enjoyed softball and reading.

He was a communicant of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ Roman Catholiic Church in Timonium.

Mr. Welsh donated his body to the State Anatomy Board, family members said.

A memorial Mass will be offered at 11 a.m. Monday in the chapel at Oak Crest Village, 880 Walther Blvd., Parkville.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Welsh is survived by a son, Patrick Joseph Welsh of Canton; a daughter, Lisa Welsh Dannenfelser of Cockeysville; and two grandchildren.

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com