LUDLOW | Longtime Harding County and rural Ludlow resident Agnes C. Welch died July 4, 2019. Agnes was born on April 12, 1925 to Michael J. Maliske and Apolonia K. (Powroznik) Maliske on the family homestead near Vessey, SD, in northeastern Harding County.
She completed her elementary education at Norbeck country school in seven years and then took two years of high school correspondence courses. She finished her junior and senior years at Camp Crook High School and received her diploma in 1942. Talented in many areas, Agnes excelled at academics and was a star basketball player in high school.
Agnes was 17 when she enrolled in a business college in Denver. After graduating she worked during World War II in Aurora, CO, at an Army medical depot. Agnes then returned to South Dakota, worked at Schimell’s Cafe in Rapid City for several months and enrolled at Black Hills Teachers College in Spearfish. She received a two-year teaching degree in 1946 and over the years was an elementary school teacher in Harding County rural schoolhouses at Ludlow, Lanesboro, Norbeck, Karinen, Painter and at McKee School near Nisland.
Agnes married Wayne C. Welch on July 26, 1950, at Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church in Vessey and they began ranching and farming near Ludlow. From this union and over the next 13 years, Agnes gave birth to 12 children (7 girls and 5 boys). She helped develop the ranch, worked very hard and excelled at teaching and raising children, cattle, sheep, pigs, chickens, trees, flowers and bountiful gardens.
Agnes was able to spend almost 70 years living and working on the family ranch which is now known as the Diamond W Ranch. Her children and surviving family will always remember and appreciate Agnes for her work ethic, passion for education, strong faith and commitment to rosary and prayer. Also memorable were her excellent meals from little or nothing and her love for reading, music, hollyhocks, cucumbers, meadowlarks, prairie flowers and trees.
Agnes was preceded in death by her husband, Wayne, five sisters and four brothers. She is survived by one sister, Veronica Svihovec. Also surviving are her 12 children and their spouses: Peggy Howard (Raymond), Thomas Welch (June), Wayne G. Welch (Barb), Michelle Stuber (Dudley), Bonnie Johnson (John), Bill Welch, Jayne Sullivan (Dan), Suzy Thoman (Dick), Guy Welch (Bridget), Casey Welch (Cindy), Kelly Allee (Tom), and Franki Welch Van Nuys (James). Agnes also leaves 31 grandchildren and 42 great-grandchildren (with a couple more on the way).
There will be a Rosary at 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 11, at St. Charles Catholic Church in Bowman.
Private Family Mass with burial to follow will be at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, July 12, at Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis.