Writing Clerical 02

Michael David Welsh

January 11, 1938 ~ April 11, 2022 (age 84)


MICHAEL D. WELSH (January 11, 1938 - April 11, 2022)

Michael (Mike) David Welsh, an Ogallala native, graduated from the Ogallala High School Class of 1956.  He was an Eagle Scout and very active in most high school activities.

Mike attended the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, where he was a member of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity.  In 1959, he married his high school sweetheart, Karen Adkins. 

Mike and Karen then moved to a family farm in Perkins County, where Mike farmed for the next seven years.  In 1966, the couple moved back to Ogallala where Mike began the transition from farming to owning and managing farmland in Perkins and Keith Counties, which he continued the remainder of his life.

In 1969, Mike became the general manager of the Ogallala Ramada Inn, which opened when Interstate 80 reached Ogallala.  He was one of the ten original owners of the Ramada Inn, which is now the Best Western Stagecoach Inn and the Golden Spur Steakhouse and Saloon.  He was also one of the original owners and directors of Ogallala Care Homes, which is now Indian Hills Manor, built in 1962.

In 1971, Mike was hired as the Ogallala Branch Manager of Nebraska State Savings and Loan of Fremont, Nebraska, when the S&L opened its first two branches at Kearney and Ogallala.  While managing the Ogallala Savings and Loan, Mike also became a licensed real estate appraiser, graduated from the University of Washington Executive Development School, and graduated with honors from the Indiana University Graduate School of Business.  As Nebraska State Savings and Loan grew to 30 locations statewide, Mike was promoted to Senior Vice President and Regional Manager of all the branch locations in the western one-third of Nebraska.

In May 1983, Mike was hired by the First National Bank in Ogallala as a vice president to originate a residential lending department, as well as working in commercial and consumer lending.  He was elected to the bank’s board of directors in July 1984 and served in that position until Pinnacle Bank purchased the bank in 1997.  A year later, he resigned from the bank and accepted a position as mortgage broker for Metro Funding out of Denver, Colorado, in their first Nebraska location.  He held that position until he retired in 2001.

Mike served in many community activities over the years, including serving as President of the Ogallala Jaycees, state vice president of the Nebraska Jaycees, member of the Ogallala Lions and Optimist Clubs, several years as Chairman of the annual Ogallala Boy Scouts Fund Drive, Cub Scout Pack Master, six years on the Ogallala Zoning Board of Adjustment, two years on the Industrial Development Council, trustee of the Congregational Church of Christ, 11 years as Chairman of the Ogallala Housing Board, Board Director of the Keith County Housing Commission, Exalted Ruler of the Ogallala Elks Lodge, President of the Ogallala Rotary Club, and several years as President of Lake McConaughy Lessees Incorporated, a corporation consisting of 127 home and cabin owners in the four K-Areas of Lake McConaughy.  Mike also donated 14 gallons of blood to the American Red Cross over the years.

Mike was also proud of the fact that he was able to provide verification to the Consulate General of Ireland that his maternal grandfather and all his great grandparents were born in Ireland, which allowed him to obtain an Irish citizenship.  You must be an Irish citizen to purchase property in Ireland, and Mike always jokingly said that one day he would return to Ireland to purchase and run an Irish pub.

Mike loved time spent with his children and grandchildren.  He and Karen enjoyed the numerous trips they made to Europe every other year with their son, Jeff and his wife, Cheryl.  Mike also enjoyed the cabin they had at Lake McConaughy for over 40 years, and their winter home south of Naples, Florida

Mike was preceded in death by his parents, David Almos Welsh and Irma Louise Doherty Welsh, a sister, Patricia Ann Welsh Cross, and a brother, James Gilmore Welsh.  He is survived by his wife Karen, sons Jeffrey Welsh (Cheryl), and Tim (Jackie) and daughter Kristine Welsh Leibhart (Mike), and grandchildren Sarah Welsh, Claire Welsh, Jack Welsh, Zane Leibhart, Chase Leibhart, and Cooper Leibhart.

Visitation will be held at Draucker Funeral Home Chapel, Ogallala, NE, Friday, Apr.15th from 9:00am to 6:00pm.
Funeral services will be held on Monday, April 18th,10:00 am; at Grace Point, with Rev. Curtis Tschetter, officiating.  Burial will take place in the Ogallala Cemetery.
Memorials are suggested to the Keith County Foundation Fund
Services will be live streamed at www.drauckerfh.com and by clicking on the Watch Now button. 

Online condolences may be left at www.drauckerfh.com. and clicking the share a memory button. 
Draucker Funeral Home of Ogallala has been entrusted with arrangements. 
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