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Louis R. Welcher

July 3, 1947 ~ January 9, 2017 (age 69)
Louis R. Welcher, 69, of Russellville, died Monday, January 9, 2017 at St.
Mary's Regional Medical Center in Russellville. The son of J B and Margaret Blanche Shinn Welcher, he was born July 3, 1947 in Russellville. He was the Student Body President and graduate of Russellville High School in 1965. He received a Bachelors' and Masters' of Music from University of Arkansas in 1971 and 1973, respectively. He and Candace Vestal were married on September
19, 1970 in Fayetteville at St. Paul's Episcopal Church.

Louis performed as an opera singer throughout the United States and also in Germany. His appearances included concertising extensively in Southern and Central California, Utah, and Arkansas. He was the leading tenor at the Muenster Stadtsoper in Muenster, Germany (1986-1991), where he performed the world premiere of Die Rache as well as Mozart and R.Strauss operas.

He was a longtime member of the All Saints Episcopal Church where he gave solo performances, directed the church choir, and served as Associate for Administration. He was a Brother in the Dominican Order of Preachers and Teachers. He preached and presented retreats in Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Texas, and North Dakota. His online Inquirer classes for the Episcopal Church are still viewed in 50 states. He also served as online faculty for the Dominican Order.
He was passionate about feeding the hungry both physically and musically at the Downtown Station House in Russellville, where his Friday night gourmet dinners with live music are still remembered fondly.

He was a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing and the Music Educators National Conference (MENC), where he was the national vocal winner in 1971. Louis also performed extensively with the Arkansas Tech University Theater and Russellville Community Theater. He founded the Russellville Community Choir. His choir from El Montecito Presbyterian Church was well-respected in Southern California (1974-1976, 1981-1987).

He taught vocal performance at University of Arkansas Fayetteville, Crowder College Neosho, MO, Westmont College Santa Barbara, CA, and was chair of the vocal division University of Utah. He taught adjunct at Arkansas Tech University.

He is survived by his wife, Candace Welcher, Russellville; 2 sons, Richard Martial Welcher(Christina Eckart), Fayetteville, David Charles Welcher, Russellville; his mother, Margaret Blanche Welcher, Russellville; grandchildren, Sarah Rose, Peter Joseph, Luke Thomas, Jacob Matthew, and Clare Vestal; brother, Clifford Welcher (Rhonda Wolf), Malvern; sisters-in-law, Virginia Phillips, Springfield, MO, Barbara Stoumbaugh, Crocker, MO; brother-in-law, Robert Vestal (Sally), Springfield, MO; and many nieces and nephews and 7 great-nieces and nephews.

Memorial Service will be held at 2:00PM, Saturday, January 14, 2017 at All Saints Episcopal Church. Father Jos Tharakan and Deacon Kaye Staggs will officiate. Cremation arrangements are under the direction of Humphrey Funeral Service. Visitation will follow the service and will be held in the church hall. Memorials may be made to All Saints Episcopal Church Choir, 501 South Phoenix Ave, Russellville, AR 2801. Internet obituary and on-line guest book are available at

Memorial Service

JAN 14. 2:00 PM

All Saints' Episcopal Church

501 South Phoenix Avenue

Russellville, AR, US, 72801


JAN 14. 4:00 PM

All Saints' Episcopal Church

501 South Phoenix Avenue

Russellville, AR, US, 72801

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