Indulge in Local
Robert (Bob) Welch has been known for many things during his 93 years. Insurance man,
president of the Rotary, 11 years secretary of the Chamber of Commerce, chairman of the
million dollar drive for Community Memorial Healthcare and recipient of the Outstanding Citizenship Award by the Kiwanis Club of Marysville.
But what Bob is most known for is his magic touch on the piano and organ keys. He had three years of piano lessons from the nuns in Beatrice, NE, became part of a polka band at age 16 and the rest is history. As one of the only living members of the original (Community Theater) M-ACT’s organization, Bob played the keyboard for 30 years of their productions up until 1997. M-ACT’s first two productions were musical melodramas, “Love Rides the Rails” and “Because our Hearts Were Pure." Welch and Bill Strange both
suggested the group start with melodramas because of their simplicity. However, after two
successful years they took on the production that guaranteed the future of the organization,
"The Sound of Music," presented in 1967. Between 1965 and 1997 Bob played for such productions as “Kiss Me Kate," “Nunsense” and “USO Show and Dance." His last “gig” was with the 1997 “Sound of Music” revival.
Bob also served as organist for St. Gregory Catholic Church for 40 years. His very popular Bob
Welch Trio played dances in northeast Kansas and southeast Nebraska for 15 years before
retiring in 1988. He continued to entertain at the Kiwanis Pancake Feed up until 2019 and
played the first dance at his granddaughter’s wedding in 2016. Today you can still hear him
tinkling the keys at Country Place where he has been a resident for the last few years. “Dad
doesn’t read music now," said son Michael Welch, but he can still sit down and play with as
much gusto as ever."