Patricia Welch
Patricia Welch

Obituary of Patricia Edmonds Welch

Born Patricia Susan Edmonds on March 16, 1958, in Knoxville, Tennessee, the fourth of five daughters of Alice Marie Edmonds and Earl Vernon Edmonds, Pat grew up and flourished in the community of people and the place she always lovingly and proudly referred to as South Knoxville. Surrounded by lifelong friends, many of whom attended the same schools beginning in kindergarten, Pat was a true, loyal, empathetic, and loving friend to all who knew her. Despite her diminutive stature, she was an avid athlete and competed in basketball, volleyball, track, swimming, and bowling. A clarinetist, Pat absolutely loved playing in the band and singing in the chorus at her schools. After graduating from high school, Pat joined the Navy where she met her husband, Gordon Edward Welch, in 1981 in Pensacola, Florida. After leaving the Navy, they married in 1986 and made their home on Perdido Key, Florida. Pat worked at Barnett Bank, the Pensacola YMCA, the Ladies Center Clinic, and then with her husband in his law practice for almost twenty-six years until she was diagnosed with bile duct cancer in June, 2020. On January 10, 1990, Pat realized one of the greatest goals of her life, giving birth to her daughter, Chelsea Lee, and she joyfully became the most loving, devoted, self-sacrificing mother any child could have. A fierce and ever-loyal Vols fan, Pat’s last adventure with Chelsea was traveling to Miami where they savored every moment of the sweet victory of Big Orange in the Orange Bowl. Her love of her daughter was equaled only by her love for her granddaughters, Addison and Lainey. After attending Pensacola Junior College, Pat attended the University of West Florida where she was awarded a degree in English in 1992. While her responsibilities as a mother always took precedence, she loved to write and succeeded in having an article she wrote about Roy Jones, Sr., published. Anyone who has read her online posts knows she relished the written word. Tempered by her warm and generous Southern gentility, Pat was an outspoken Democrat and feminist and defended her principles and her causes without hesitation or apology. As a volunteer escort and then member of the staff at the Ladies Center Clinic, she was at the epicenter of the struggle for women’s healthcare rights in Pensacola and refused to give in to fear or intimidation despite great risk to herself. A true lover of nature and all in it, Pat found great joy and solace in the faithful companionship of her dog and second child, Nala, and feeding her frequent visitor, Henry the Blue Heron. For over two and a half years, Pat fought cancer with hope and with love for those who loved her, not fear or anger or self-pity, and through love and the ultimate freedom of faith over fear, she denied cancer and death dominion over her when she died in hospice on February 21, 2023. As she was always amused by and somewhat embarrassed for those who made their obituaries an inventory of every event and achievement of their lives, Pat would, hopefully, be satisfied with this: She never forgot where she came from, or who she was, or what was truly important in life, and she lived and loved fully and well and without reservation or judgment. She leaves behind her husband, Gordon Edward Welch, her daughter, Chelsea Lee Pratt, son-in-law, Bobby Pratt, and granddaughters, Addison Lee Pratt and Lainey Winter Pratt, her sisters, Anne Dixon, Gretchen Kirkland, Lynne Bowen, and Paula Jane Pfeiffer, her brothers-in-law, Paul Kirkland and Stephen Bowen, her nephews, Bryan Ogle, Daniel Dixon, Tyler Bowen, and Trey Pfeiffer, her nieces, Brooke Kirkland Sweet, Jordan Pfeiffer Bailey, Morgan Bowen Mayes, and Tami Kirkland Patin, and great nieces, Lorien and Nora Sweet. The family plans to have gatherings in Pensacola and Knoxville to celebrate Pat’s life and will extend invitations to all who loved her. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation at
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