Welty, Russell Ralph

Russell Ralph Welty entered the presence of his Lord on July 2, 2011, after a valiant battle with cancer, at home in McDonough. He was born to Elam and Blanche Welty on Feb. 6, 1924 at Bluffton, Ohio. He was married to Ellen Louise Wagner on July 31, 1943, and they were married for almost 67 years until her death on July 4, 2010. Russell was a businessman in Pandora, Ohio until he went into the ministry as a Mennonite pastor. He served churches in Fortuna, Mo., Comins, Mich., Durham, N.C., and was director of Camp Friedenswald in Cassapolis, Mich. for two years. He and Ellen served as foster parents during their pastorate in Michigan. An active retiree, Russell was the chaplain at Westbury Nursing Home and Rehabilitation in McDonough, Ga. for 16 years. As a member of the local AARP chapter, he served as president for several years and also taught safe-driving classes in the community. He volunteered with the Citizen Panel Review for Henry County Juvenile Court, working to provide permanent homes for children. He was a member of Atlanta Mennonite Fellowship and had a ministry of visitation and encouragement in the church and community. Russell is survived by one brother, Dale Welty, of West Royal Palm Beach, Fla.; sister, Ruby (Dennis) Free, of Fort Wayne, Ind.; two sons, Dean Welty, of Winnepeg, Manitoba and Tim Welty (Ruth Ann), of McDonough, and daughter, Jeanene (Werner) Wiens, of Glenlea, Manitoba; eight grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren and a special foster daughter, Tammy McKague. There will be a celebration of Russell’s life, Monday evening July 18th, 7 p.m., at Berea Mennonite Church, 1088 Bouldercrest Drive in Atlanta, Ga. James Rissler of Atlanta Mennonite Fellowship will be officiating. Visitation will be immediately following the service. In lieu of flowers, please donate to Mennonite Central Committee, or Vistacare Hospice, who provided so much love and care during the last year. Arrangements by SouthCare Cremation Society and Memorial Centers in Stockbridge (770) 692-1181.