JOYCE ARLENE WELCH

By: 
NLJ Staff

JOYCE ARLENE WELCH

April 9, 1950–Aug. 11, 2020

Joyce Arlene Douglas Welch was born on April 9, 1950, to Ray Willard and Lydia Josephine Fulton Douglas in Upton, Wyo., where Joyce grew up and graduated high school in 1968.

She married John Howard Welch of Rozet, Wyo., on July 27, 1968. They moved to Gillette, Wyo., where Joyce worked in the kitchen of Sands Restaurant. John worked in the oilfield until he joined the Army in 1969. The couple was stationed at Ft. Monmouth, New Jersey. While John was trained in communications, Joyce worked at a perfume and lotion factory. After further training in Biloxi, Miss., John went to Viet Nam and then Korea, and Joyce returned to Gillette. When John returned a year later, they were stationed at Ft. Huachuca, Ariz. Daughter, Karena Dee was born there. Then Joyce and Karena were moved to Casper, Wyo., while John was away for more training. While in Casper, daughter Brandi Rae was born. Then off to Germany for three years. While there, they toured Germany and took a trip to Rome and a tour of Pompeii, which was a life-long dream for Joyce. Joyce began teaching herself to decorate cakes and when they returned to the U.S., John retired from the Army and Joyce went to a two-week school in Chicago earning a Master Cake Decorator certificate. She decorated cakes and wedding cakes for many years after.

Both John and Joyce and their girls accepted Jesus as their Savior in 1977 while living in Casper and in 1981 began a life of ministry, including a year in Fresno, Calif., working with World Wide Ministries. They moved back to Upton in the house Joyce grew up in for ten years until their daughters graduated from high school. While in Upton, Joyce began writing an extensive Bible study on the book of Genesis, adding more information over the years following. She loved sharing it with ladies’ groups.

John and Joyce bought a house in Newcastle, Wyo., where they lived for 20 years. Joyce was well known there for her decorated cakes and became known as “the cake lady.” John drove the big buses to and from Jacob’s Ranch Mine. Due to an illness, Joyce became handicapped in 2010 and in 2011 they moved to Laramie to be close to their daughters, Karena of Laramie and Brandi of Centennial, Colo., and their four grandchildren.

While in Laramie, Joyce began painting many works of art, a hobby she began in high school art class and was able to dedicate a room to painting. She continued teaching Bible studies with a new group of ladies.

Joyce loved reading novels set in ancient times and learning about ancient civilizations. In 1990, she put together history books for both sides of her family, the Douglas’ and the Fulton’s, asking relatives to write their stories and add pictures and information about themselves and
ancestors.

Joyce loved her Savior and was eager to spend eternity with Him and all those she loved. She passed away on Aug. 11, 2020, and will be buried at Oregon Trail State Veterans Cemetery.

She is survived by her husband, John Welch of Laramie; daughters, Karena (Mick) Oyler of Laramie, and Brandi (Jason) Cowles of Centennial; four grandchildren, Michael Oyler and Tyler Oyler of Laramie and Sean Cowles and Mackenzie Cowles of Centennial; her brother, Raymond (Amy) Douglas of Osage, Wyo.; and numerous nephews and nieces. 

She is preceded in death by her parents, Ray and Josephine (Fulton) Douglas and sisters, Jeannette Oler and Elaine Ainslie.

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