John Anthony "Big John" Welch, of Antigo, former of Shawano, died Sunday, November 20, 2022, at Eastview Medical and Rehabilitation Center. He was 66 years old. He was born on July 3, 1956, in Antigo, a son of the late Floyd and Theresa (Koeppel) Welch.
John was a graduate of Antigo High School. He lived in Shawano for many years. He loved bowling and was a sports enthusiast. John enjoyed being social and will be remembered for his kindness and generosity.
Survivors include three sisters, Mary (Eugene "Blue") Rogatzki of Deerbrook, Susan (Larry) Waldvogel of Antigo, and Carolyn (Joseph) Metko of Antigo; three brothers, Lawrence (Shirlee) Welch of Antigo, Edward (Ruth) Welch of Merrill, and Andrew (Michelle) Welch of Bowler; many nieces and nephews; and a special friend, Mary Beth Pecore of Shawano.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by three brothers, Daniel, Thomas, and Walter.
A funeral Mass will be held on Friday, November 25, 2022, at 11 a.m. at St. Joseph Holy Family Catholic Church with Rev. Charles Hoffmann officiating. Burial will take place in St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery.
Visitation will be Thursday, November 24, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Bradley Funeral Home and on Friday from 10 to 11 a.m. at the church. A parish wake service will be held Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at the funeral home.
"I was so sorry to hear of the loss of John. He was such a kind and gentle man. I enjoyed our visits when he stopped at Book World in Shawano, where I was the manager. After my store closed I always made it a point to go to the check out line at County Market where John was bagging groceries. He always made my day a bit better. My condolences to John?s family."
"I always referred to John as a ?Gentle Giant? and he always answered to me as ?John boy Walton? I will miss him dearly but heaven needs gentle giant angels?? It was a privilege to spend time and help care for him. He was not just one of my residents he was my friend."
"I was lucky to know John when we worked at Shultz Creamery. John was a hard worker and always had a smile with a positive outlook on life. The crew at the creamery was lucky to have John on the team.
"So sorry for your loss. I was a classmate of John's, Class of 1974. He was always so kind and outgoing in school. He had a personality that was definitely "Big"! He is someone I will never forget! Sue Rogman Papke"
"I remember when I bartending years ago at Mad Dawgs in Matoon and John would come down and visit with me once in a while. I'll treasure those conversations. If he was there late he always made sure I made to my car safely. He did throw a few creeps out , they weren't intimidated by him...and then he stood up!!!..his height got them outta there in a heartbeat.
He was someone with a heart of gold never met such a kind soul. May he rest in peace. Amy Below"