We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Arnold Funeral Homes - Canton
Paul Wiley Welch, III, age 82, of North Canton passed away peacefully on Saturday evening, May 28, at his home following battles with Alzheimer’s disease and heart failure. Paul was the loyal and dedicated husband of the late Miriam (nee Stonebraker) Welch for 52 years before her passing in 2017. Even though his life was filled with professional accomplishments as a venerated orthopedic surgeon, Paul was a kind and incredibly humble man who loved his family dearly and reveled in his role as father, father-in-law, and grandfather (or, more accurately and affectionately, as “Pop”).
Born to the late Paul and Frances Welch, Paul and his family moved from Milan, Tennessee to Cincinnati in 1957 where he attended and graduated from Walnut Hill High School. It was there that he met Miriam, his future wife. Paul received his undergraduate and medical degrees from Vanderbilt University (BA, 1962 and MD, 1966). Paul completed his internship at the University of Cincinnati in 1967. Paul then served his country in the Vietnam War, where he achieved the rank of major and was awarded two Bronze Stars for his service. Until his final days, Paul enjoyed sharing his Vietnam experiences with his children and grandchildren. Upon returning from Vietnam, Paul completed a general surgery residency and an orthopedic residency at University of Cincinnati followed by a hand surgery fellowship at University of Louisville Hospitals. Paul was a sought-after trauma surgeon, and to the chagrin of the University of Cincinnati, he accepted an offer to join an orthopedic practice in Canton, Ohio, where he would practice for nearly 40 years with Spectrum Orthopaedics and on the medical staff of Aultman Hospital. In addition to his busy clinical practice, Paul played a key role in the development of Aultman Hospital and creation of Aultcare. Paul served as the president of Aultman’s medical staff and on the hospital’s Board of Trustees. Paul’s personality allowed him to be an effective liaison between Aultman’s medical staff and administration. Paul’s clinical talents were recognized by his peers and he was a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery, was inducted into the Aultman medical staff’s Hippocrates Honor Society, and was a Clinical Assistant Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at Northeastern Ohio University College of Medicine.
Paul was also known for his community service. He acted as the team physician for North Canton Glen Oak High School’s football team for over 25 years and walked the sideline of many of the NFL’s Hall of Fame games as a liaison to team doctors. Paul also served on the Boards of Trustees of Goodwill Services and of Quest Recovery Services.
In his spare time and early retirement, Paul was a talented and avid woodworker, downhill skier and sailor. Spending time with family and friends on the mountains or on the water were among his favorite activities.
In addition to his parents and Miriam, Paul was preceded in death by his beloved son, David Paul, and his brother, Richard. He is survived by his devoted daughter, Lisa (Jeff) Kapp; daughter-in-law, Kathy Roberts (Welch); and grandchildren, Jake and Katie Kapp, and Serena and Daniel Welch. He is also survived by brothers-in-law Dave (Barb) Stonebraker and Don Stonebraker; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.
One of the great blessings of Paul’s life was the love and care provided by his guardian angel, Betty Jordan. Betty has been a constant presence in the Welch family’s life for nearly 50 years. For the past several years, Betty has served as Paul’s primary caretaker and, along with Lisa, provided Paul with immeasurable comfort, love and support as Paul continued to battle Alzheimer’s. Betty also captained a team of caregivers that ensured that Paul was loved like a family member and well taken care of at all times.
Those who knew Paul will miss his self-deprecating sense of humor, his references to his Tennessean upbringing, his deflection of compliments with a small shrug and change in conversation topics, his easy smile and laugh, and his gentle demeanor.
A celebration of Paul’s life will be held on Saturday, July 16 at 10 am at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 515 48th Street NW, Canton, OH. Family will greet friends at the church following the service. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations made in Paul’s memory be made to The Aultman Foundation or St. Mark’s Episcopal Church.