Alyce Mae Welch Jones

Alyce Mae Welch Jones

April 14, 1930 – Oct. 22, 2022

Alyce Mae Welch Jones passed away Oct. 22, 2022, at the age of 92. She faced the challenges of age with dignity, faith and a characteristic determination to try to “get back to work.”

Alyce was born April 14, 1930, in Cowley, the first of eight children born to Louis Belmont Welch and Hazel Tebbs Welch. She was born at home on the birthday of her grandmother, Mary Alice Tebbs. Her parents used Mary Alice’s middle name to name their new daughter Alyce. Alyce was joined by seven other siblings, Louis James (Jay), Linda, Joan, Barbara Joyce (Bobi Jo), Annette, Louis Richard and Cynthia.

Raising children during the Depression was a challenge, requiring Louis and Hazel to be persistent in finding work – in Cowley, helping with the family sheep herd; in Morgan, Utah, working in a pop bottling factory; and in Provo, Utah, in the Geneva Steel mill. They returned to Cowley, where Louis formed a construction company. The children graduated from Cowley High School.

Music played an important part in Alyce’s life. She studied piano and, while in high school, she would travel to homes in the area to give piano lessons. She played the flute in the Cowley High School band, was a Cowley Jaguar cheerleader and enjoyed acting in the high school plays. 

As she raised her family, she continued her music training by taking college classes in organ performance, conducting and music theory. Not only did all her children learn to play piano, but countless other students came to her home to take lessons. Both parents supported the children as they all joined choirs, band, orchestra and drama.

Alyce was an excellent seamstress, making the children’s shirts, skirts and prom dresses, countless quilts and afghans and embroidered pictures. An armful of open books were by her bed and every couch or chair. Her hands were rarely without a book, a needle, a ball of yarn or a stack of music.

Alyce started dating Donovan E. Jones when he returned to his home in Lovell after his naval service in World War II. They both attended the University of Wyoming in Laramie, where he graduated in petroleum engineering, and she took courses in home economics. They were married on July 1, 1949, in the Idaho Falls Idaho temple. They had five children, Erick Welch, Wayne Alan, Susan Kay, Robert W. and Jodie Lou. Don’s work as an engineer for the Phillips Petroleum/Exxon company took them to Eureka, Kansas; Casper; Rangely, Colorado; Odessa, Texas, and eventually overseas to Stavanger, Norway, and London, England.

While in Norway, Alyce doggedly studied to become fluent in Norwegian. She worked as a translator for the local Norwegian radio news. She would translate the news from Norwegian to English and broadcast the news for the Americans living in the area. She joined the American traveling choir and performed in England and Norway. Later, she conducted civic and church choirs.

Alyce had an appreciative eye for the beauties and the variety of colors in nature. She developed another talent when she explored different medias of art—oil, chalk, watercolor and sketching. She traveled to take private lessons from different professional artists. While driving, she pointed out the different hues of colors in the hills, farms and trees. When Don retired, they moved to Green Valley, Arizona, where Alyce continued art lessons and entered her art in local art shows. Her paintings hang on walls of all her family and friends. 

She and Don had the opportunity to travel throughout Europe, Austria, Denmark, England, Turkey, Italy, the Canary Islands and Hawaii. However, their favorite family vacations were spent in the Wyoming mountains camping, fishing, swimming and reading.

Don passed away in 1988, and Alyce became very involved with her children, 33 grandchildren and 71 great-grandchildren. They all have happy memories of her weeding bean fields, swimming, painting and hiking with them. Also, she traveled with them to China, Canada, South and Central America and the Philippines. She volunteered in Phoenix weekly to help others who wanted help researching family lines at the genealogy library.

Don and Alyce both actively served in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Alyce was the church organist, chorister for the youth and a teacher of the young women and Relief Society. She continued playing piano for Primary until she was 89.

She was preceded in death by both her parents, Louis and Hazel Welch, siblings Linda and Joan, husband, Don, and oldest son, Erick.

Graveside services will be held on Saturday, Oct. 29, at the Cowley Cemetery, followed by a short program at the Cowley Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.