Beatrice Welch

Beatrice “Bea” Welch, 97, of Winona, MN, formerly of Waukon, beloved Mother, Grandmother, Great-Grandmother, Aunt and Friend, died Friday, July 25, 2014 in Winona, MN. Funeral services will be held Friday, August 1, at 11 a.m. at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Waukon with Rev. Msgr. Ed Lechtenberg officiating. Burial will be at St. Mary's Lycurgus Cemetery, rural Waukon. Friends may call from 4-7 p.m. Thursday at Martin Funeral Home in Waukon. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials to St. Patrick’s School (Waukon) Scholarship Fund, in honor of Bea’s strong belief in education.
Beatrice, known to many as “Honie,” was born July 7, 1917 and raised in Allamakee County. She graduated Eels Country School, Allamakee County and St. Joseph’s High School, Mason City (where she boarded with and cooked for the Sister of PBVM to earn her diploma) before completing Teacher Training from Waukon Normal School in 1939, before her marriage to Kenneth W. Collins August 22, 1939. Their marriage was blessed with five children; Colleen, Mary Jo, Marge, Cathie and Bill.
Bea pursued her education and received a Bachelor's Degree from Upper Iowa University, Fayette, in 1964.  She was a teacher for Eels and Hanover country schools, and West Elementary in Waukon and retired in 1982.  She was a strong proponent of education and continued learning.
Bea loved her family, her faith, her community and her country. She celebrated every family birth, baptism, first communion, graduation, wedding, reunion and death.  She took great joy in having guests in her home, especially nieces' and nephews' families. Hospitality was a quality integral to herself. Bea typified her Irish heritage is so many ways: her family was the center of her life - staying connected was very important;  she emphasized and preserved family traditions and holidays; she was a strong-willed, resilient woman.  She expected the very best effort and behavior of her children, grandchildren and students, yet she was always affirming and encouraging of their education, growth and accomplishments. She lived the Corporal Works of Mercy.
Bea was an active member of St. Theresa of the Little Flower Study Club, Ladies Auxiliary VFW, a retired teachers group, several card clubs, and the St. Mary’s, Lycurgus, and St. Patrick’s parishes. She enjoyed volunteering at St. Vincent’s Store, serving as a Pink Lady at the hospital and visiting shut-ins. She loved her flower garden, green tea and a good bargain, especially at a Sweeney Auction.
Bea has resided in Winona, MN for the past 11 years with her daughter, Cathie. She often returned for family events and visits. Waukon was always “home."
Bea is survived by her five children, Colleen (Donald) Houser of Columbus, OH; Mary Jo (James) Hopfensperger of Bellevue, NE; Marge Collins of Eyota, MN; Cathie Logan of Winona, MN and Bill (Ellie Schulte) Collins of Merrimac, WI; 12 grandchildren, Kelle, Kerri, Joshua (Houser), Chris, Amy (Hopfensperger), Jody (Neimier), Heather, Bridget, Alexander (Logan), and Meghan, Janessa, Clarin (Collins); and soon-to-be 24 great-grandchildren,  Stephanie, Ryan, JT, Connor, Molly, Tyler, Emerson, Brooks (Houser), Potter, Quill, Huxley, Collin, James, Josie (Hopfensperger) Parker, Kendall (Niemier), Gloria, Vincent, Rylee, Caitlyn (Logan), Lake, Vida, Griffin and ‘soon to be’ (Baby Hanna.)  Additionally, Bea leaves behind four Generations of beloved Nieces and Nephews.
Bea was preceded in death by her parents, Michael and Angeline (Connor) Mahoney;  her eight siblings and spouses, Ambrose Mahoney, Mary Ellen (George) Donovan, Angeline (James) Quinlan, Edward (Regina) Mahoney, Margaret (Harold) Mulvihill, Bernadette (Wm.) Kummer, Peter Mahoney and Sister Mary Laurayne Mahoney, PBVM. In addition she was preceded in death by husbands, Kenneth “Scoop” Collins, Wm. “Bill” Zoll and Kenneth “Bud” Welch.
Honorary casketbearers are Dan Donovan and Pat Mahoney. Casketbearers are Alex Logan, Josh Houser, Chris Hopfensperger, Lyle Mahoney, Bill Kerndt and Danny Donovan.  
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