IN MEMORIAM: Douglas J. Welsh, 85;
Played 3 Sports For Coach ‘Red’ Bursey
COOPERSTOWN – Douglas John (Lovey) Welsh, who played under “Red” Bursey, the legendary high school coach, and pursued in career in carpentry and masonry on historic buildings, passed away Feb. 5, 2015. He was 85.
He was born April 23, 1929, in Cooperstown, a son of David and Annie (Dickson) Welsh. He was 85 and had lived at the state Veterans’ Home at Oxford for the past year.
Doug graduated in 1948 from Cooperstown High School, where he was a prominent athlete, playing football, basketball and baseball under the tutelage of Coach “Red” Bursey.
He went on to SUNY Delhi, then joined The Leatherstocking Corp., helping relocate Todd’s General Store and The Blacksmith Shop, as well as The Cardiff Giant, to The Farmers’ Museum.
In 1949, while working on the addition to The Baseball Hall of Fame, Doug heroically rescued a one-year old child from his crib in a burning nearby apartment building. He was honored by the Cooperstown Rotary Club for his heroism.
In December 1950, he joined the Army, serving in Korea. He was honorably discharged on Nov. 27, 1952, with the rank of sergeant.
Returning home, he learned the carpentry trade from Eugene Willsey, a prominent Cooperstown builder. Prior to that, Doug had worked with Pete Jones, another local craftsman, and from him learned the masonry trade. One of his jobs, working with Mr. Jones, was repairing the chimney stack at The Otesaga.
Doug was then self-employed for many years until joining the workforce of the state Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation, where he helped maintain and repair many historic buildings. He retired in 1994 after 23 years of service.
Doug was an avid hunter and fisherman and spent many days in the Adirondacks and Vermont with family and friends. In 1945, on one of those hunting trips, his brother, Robert, 18, was fatally shot by another hunter.
He was a member of the Cooperstown Sportsman’s Association, the Sgt. Walter P. Eggleston Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 7128, the Milford American Legion Post No. 1556 and the Calhoun Hunting Camp.
Doug was predeceased by his sister, Grace Welsh, and three brothers, David, Robert and Alastair.
Survivors include sister Annie Bantham and her husband, Harvey, of Saratoga Springs; a sister-in-law, Becky Welsh, and a niece and nephews and their children.
Anyone wishing to make a donation in memory of Doug may give to a charity or institution of one’s choice.
Funeral services will be private. His remains will be placed in the Ecumenical Columbarium at Christ Church at a future date.
Arrangements are entrusted to the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home.