Hazel Irene Welch


Hazel Irene Welch of Greenwood passed away in the late evening of May 17, 2024. She was 96 years old. Hazel was born February 20, 1928, in Franklin Indiana, to the late Arnold Smith and Pearl Marie (Sparks) Smith.

Hazel attended Franklin schools. She was a switchboard operator back in her early adult years, for Western Electric and later, at L.S Ayres. She also worked in various retail positions while managing her family and home. She found joy in the simple pleasures of life, including gardening and cooking. Hazel kept up with current events through newspapers and TV news channels. She also enjoyed watching various TV programs as well as reading the comics in the newspaper.

Hazel was a kind, unpretentious woman with a quiet faith, who found comfort in gospel music. Family was the cornerstone of her life. She was a devoted daughter, sister, wife, aunt, mother, and grandmother who cherished spending time with her loved ones, sharing meals together at home (or eating out where she always insisted on paying). Hazel enjoyed baking cakes (carrot and banana being the family favorites) and making chili any time of the year. She possessed an excellent memory and loved to reminisce about her earlier life. She enjoyed traveling to the Smoky Mountains several times a year with her husband Bob, to who she was married for almost 61 years. She also became, somewhat reluctantly, a dog lover in her later life, after a number of family dogs won her over.

Hazel is survived by her daughters, Toby, (husband Terry Guolee) and Brenda (Chuck Matthews); her grandchildren, Kala Guolee and Chris Guolee; her sister, Alice Lucas, as well as many nieces and nephews. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Thomas Robert ‘Bob’ Welch, and her siblings, Louis Smith, Beulah Smith, Ruth Hughey, Joe Smith, and Shirley Smith.

The family will receive friends from 11 AM until 1 PM on Friday, May 24, 2024, at Forest Lawn Funeral Home in Greenwood. Following the visitation, Hazel will be laid to rest beside her husband at Forest Lawn Memory Gardens. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorial contributions be made to any organization serving those with dementia. Hazel will be remembered for her warmth, her love of family, and her dedication to those she held dear. She will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved her.