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Sylvester Ben Welsch of Pinckneyville

updated: 11/27/2017 3:11 PM

Sylvester Ben Welsch, 82, of Pinckneyville passed away at 8:40 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017, at Memorial Hospital of Carbondale.

Ben had been a dozer operator for the coal mine. He had also been a farmer. He was a member of St. Bruno Catholic Church in Pinckneyville. He was a member of Knights of Columbus and UMW of A. Ben was a United States Army veteran. He was an avid fisherman and enjoyed woodworking.

He was born Oct. 11, 1935, in Perry County, the son of Sylvester H. and Cecilia (Rhienecker) Welsch.

He married Shirley (Huth) Place Feb. 12, 1988, in Pinckneyville, and she survives.

He is survived by his wife of Pinckneyville; four daughters, Gail Vroman and husband Dave of Washington, Ill., Cindy Chapman and husband Dan Prylo of Farmington, Mich., Janis Welsch of Austin, Texas, and Amy Tavernaro and husband John of Laveen, Ariz.; two stepchildren, Kevin Place and wife Roxanne of Tamaroa and Cheryl Bigham and husband Greg of Pinckneyville; two sisters, Lavina Kellerman and husband Ed of Pinckneyville and Alvera Knatt of Victorville, Calif.; grandchildren Kristen Vroman, Michael Vroman, Matthew Vroman, Katie Vroman, Benjamin Tavernaro, Emma Tavernaro, Isabella Prylo and Janie Prylo; step-grandchildren Ethan Place, Haley Place, Eva Cooper, Macy Jaroski, Holly Kinney, Taylor Bigham and Grant Bigham; nine great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; one sister, Delores Kellerman; and two brothers-in-law, Bert Kellerman and George Knatt.

Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 1 at Searby Funeral Home in Du Quoin with the Rev. Rob Mathis officiating.

Friends may call from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Searby Funeral Home in Du Quoin.

Military graveside rites will be conducted by the Du Quoin VFW and American Legion posts.

Burial will be at St. Bruno Cemetery at Pinckneyville.

Friends may make memorials to St. Bruno School in Pinckneyville. They will be accepted at the funeral home.

For additional information or to sign the memorial guest register, please visit