Leonard Dexter Welch 1925 - 2021

Leonard Dexter Welch was  born January 20, 1925, at his family's humble home in Calvin, Oklahoma. He was the youngest in his family unit and its last survivor. Growing up during the Dust Bowl, his parents, Adam and Dora Welch, made the decision in 1940 to move to Central California. Dex attended Liberty High School in Brentwood, California, where he was a proud member of the high school band and enjoyed playing football.

Upon graduation from high school, he immediately entered the armed services on July 5, 1943, where he became a rifleman private first class, Company A 27th Infantry in the U.S. Army. He served in the Asiatic Pacific, receiving two medals: World War Two Victory Medal and Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal. He left the service by honorable discharge December 20, 1944, due to injuries received during battle. 

Dexter married the love of his life, Noma Dean Williamson, on March 10, 1951. They had four children, Denise Kay, Robert Dexter (preceded in death), Gregory Alan (preceded in death) and Darris Dawn; five grandchildren, Jesse Woods, Lisa Stiff, Michael Welch (preceded in death), Nicholas Welch, and Jessica Brown; five great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild. 

Dexter's love for horses brought him and his young family to Oregon in 1968, moving to the McMinnville area. Riding and training horses became his passion. 

As a young couple, Dexter and Noma enjoyed competitive ballroom dancing and continued dancing with each other until Noma’s passing on March 14, 2016. 

Dexter had a great love for many activities in life. He played trombone, saxophone, guitar and harmonica. He enjoyed singing, riding and training horses, collecting horse tack, and he was an accomplished silversmith. 

Dexter and Noma were deeply involved with their faith in Jehovah God and dedicated their life to Him and His service in 1965 through baptism.  

Dexter passed away June 23, 2021, in the care of Heart of Hospice at his home in Ashley Manor Memory Care in Hood River, Oregon. A deep and sincere thank you to the caregivers of Ashley Manor and Heart of Hospice.

He will be remembered by those he touched. Rest now, Daddy.