Caroline M. Welsh
That almost 90 year old fun loving, “Out to Lunch” lady, Caroline M. (Bach), (Drumm), (Kennicker) Welsh, of Dubuque passed away from lung cancer on Thursday, March 16, 2023. To honor Caroline’s life, family and friends are encouraged to come and have some great laughs and fun from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m., on Friday, March 24, 2023, at Behr Funeral Home, 1491 Main Street, where there will be a parish scripture wake service held at 3:45 p.m. Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m., on Saturday, March 25, 2023, at Holy Spirit Parish, Holy Ghost Church, with Rev. Steven M. Garner officiating. Burial will be in Mt. Calvary Cemetery. Mom wanted a joyous and fun occasion, no tears, and she has provided a little ceramic token of her life for all to take home.
Caroline began her extraordinary life on July 8, 1933, at her parents’ home at 2420 Queen Street. She was the daughter of William F. and Caroline “Carrie” (Weiland) Bach. She was born on a Saturday at 6 p.m., and baptized the next day at 1 p.m., at Sacred Heart Church. Her Godparents were Mildred DeWachter and Charles Martin Bach. She was the last surviving child from her family.
When Caroline was 10 years old her father, William, who was a engineer with the Milwaukee Railroad, died (age 54 years old on March 16, 1944), suddenly from a heart attack while driving the train into the Dubuque yard. From that point on she grew up very fast and started to help her mother, Carrie, with chores around the house. She attended Sacred Heart School and was known to assist the local neighbors by getting groceries and planting gardens for her family and others. Sometimes she washed and set the neighbors’ hair. The great depression era and World War II was hard for Caroline and her family. It made her understand what hardships were really about, enjoying the company of neighbors and having a little fun along the way.
Caroline’s first husband, Peter W. Genz-Drumm, and she were married on Sept 27, 1952, in Dubuque at St. Mary’s Church. They had one daughter, Lynn. They divorced in 1954, and Peter Drumm died on April 12, 1999. She married her second husband, Robert A. Kennicker, on April 26, 1958, in Lancaster, Wisconsin. Caroline and Robert had 4 kids together, 2 sons, Karl and Kelvin and twin daughters, Robin and Rox. Robert adopted Lynn in 1959. Robert and Caroline divorced in 1969, and he died on June 8, 2007. In 1970, on New Year’s Eve, Caroline then married Melvin L. Welsh at the 2929 Elm Street residence. She later divorced Melvin in 1980, and he died on June 21, 1993.
Caroline started working at the age of sixteen at the Sweetheart Bakery, AKA Trausch Bakery, and she had a blast there making donuts. She left there and started working at Montgomery Ward’s for a short period of time. Caroline was then hired at the Dubuque Packing Company in 1952, and she loved the people there. They were an extended family to her. She was a member of the Local # 150 of the Amalgamated Meat Cutters and Butcher Workman Union. She enjoyed working in many of the departments at the packing house, and was able to retire in 1977. Mom donated many artifacts and pictures for the Telegraph Herald book, People of the Pack, published in 2014.
After retirement from the packing house, Caroline worked at The Kennedy Mall and Kohl’s Dept. Store. She was an active member of the Democratic Party, and volunteered for many moons at the Dubuque County election polls. She loved the interacting with people at the polls.
Caroline and Bob bought their home in 1958, and remodeled it from top to bottom many times. Mom was always proud of the house and kept it in great shape. It is where she wanted to live until she died, and she got her wish. She loved the house and people who visited it. In Caroline’s spare time she loved butchering at Marvin and Mary Kennicker’s farm, it was fun for her and she always got to talk with relatives. Mom would also crochet Afghans for every family member. She organized the Bach family genealogy in 1980, and finished in 2014. Caroline took many photographs of family and vacations. She enjoyed playing Euchre and Cribbage with friends and family. In 1985, Bill taught Caroline how to play Cribbage. In the fall of that year, Caroline found out that her brother, Oliver “Ben”, was teaching her daughter, Rox, how to play. When Bill came back to Iowa, Caroline, Bill, Ben and Rox all played Cribbage together as a group until Ben died in 1989. She was very competitive and loved to win every kind of game she played. Once, while playing Monopoly, she beat out 6 other friends and broke the bank. Caroline really enjoyed dancing at the Melody Mill, roller skating at the Gem and Point Roller rink and ice skating at Comiskey Field.
Caroline and her brother, Irv, enjoyed vacationing with their brother, Bill Bach, in Martinsdale, Montana. During these wonderful visits their time was spent hunting and fishing in the Castles, Crazy and the Little Belt Mountains. One of the best times that Bill and Caroline had together was when Bill shot Antelope, Buck deer, Spiked Elk and filled his permit quota for the year.
Caroline was given the special gift from God of five children, three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Caroline loved her pet cats, Baby Bell, Trooper, and especially Cleo, who was with Caroline for 23 years and died on December 10, 2001. The Christmas holidays were Caroline’s favorite time of year. She loved to make her favorite Christmas cookies and Christmas dinner, and decorating the house inside and out. She also loved the snow and thought it was beautiful, but truly hated driving in it.
Caroline had many special friends throughout her life including: Lois Moes, Anthony “Tony” Pfab Sr.(deceased), and a very dear friend, Mabel Barnett (deceased), who lived in Livingston, Montana, plus her classmates from school, the Dubuque Pack, the Sweetheart Bakery and other places that she worked, plus many relatives throughout the United States. She was the Godmother to William Norman Brown of Dubuque Iowa, and Pamela Bach of Rockford, Illinois.
Lynn Gilbreath, Dubuque,
Karl (Jackie) Kennicker, Bondville, IL
and twin daughters,
Robin M. Kennicker, Dubuque
and Rox Ann “Roxie” Kressig, Kieler, WI;
Christina Neyen, Krystal Rose (Jason) Faust and Kelvin Robert (Jacey) Kennicker, all of Dubuque;
Landon Paul Faust and Leighton Rose Faust;
a former son-in-law,
Sandy (Tom) Tremble, Alvina (Ralph) Hatch and Illa (Marvin) Menge;
Richard (Mary Ellen) Drumm;
and her nieces, nephews and cousins,
Elizabeth (Bach) Biehl, Pamela Bach, Paula (Bob) Lange, Maureen (Mark) Mosse, Debra Justman, William, Paul, and Joseph Brown, Vivian (Snyder) Fluhr, Jim, Johnny, Joey (Amy Baus), Jeffery (Sue) Kennicker, Patrick Mulligan, Duane (Betty) Ernst, Gerald (Patricia) Kennicker, Ricky (Ginger) Kennicker, Ronnie Kennicker, Terry (Diane) Kennicker, David (Lori) Kennicker, Debra (Joe deceased) Miller, Donna (John, deceased) Wood, Diane (JL) Love, Denise (Dan) Freeman, Dawn (Tom) Ruskell and Darlene (Jeff) Sibley; and her great-nieces and nephews, Jamie, Brett, Alexander, Shannon, Abbey, Maddie, Vicki, Wyatt, Scott, Jason, Christopher, Nicholas, Nathan, Cory, Brenda, Brady, Allison, Jessica, Gabriel, Lyda, Austin, Preston, Travis, Brian, Tyler, Amber, Nicolas, Dalton, Devin, Aaron, Alec and Adam.
Caroline is proceeded in death by
William and Caroline (Wieland) Bach;
Kelvin Joseph Kennicker;
Taylor (Neyen) Downey;
William and friend (Mabel Barnett), Irwin “Irv”, Eldon (Mary), Oliver “Ben” and friend (Jenny Schmalz), and infant Delbert Bach;
Vivian “Dolly”, (Norman Brown deceased), (David) Snyder;
her former husbands,
Pete W. Genz-Drumm, Robert A. Kennicker and Melvin L. Welsh;
and Jerry Kressig;
former sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law,
Darlene Genz, Mitzy (Don) Fuller, Marjorie “Sally” (Don) Erni, Harold Sauegling Jr., Laura Kennicker, Richard (Ruth) Kennicker, Arnold (Betty) Kennicker, Pauly Kennicker, Marvin (Mary) Kennicker, Ann (Harold) Ernst (Bob) Bechen, Mildred (Welsh) Bob Ross, Edith (Doren) Phillips, Gilbert, Jess, Cecil Welsh and Dennis (Ester) Welsh;
former mothers-in-law and fathers-in-law,
Leo & Cleo Genz-Drumm, Arthur & Irene Kennicker and Melvin & Elsie Welsh;
grandparents, Herman & Margaret Weiland, Martin & Jeanette Bach;
great-grandparents, Martin & Eva Specht, Phillip & Christina Weiland and Albert & Hendricka Von Haldren;
and a close family friend,
Over the years Mom had many special doctors and team members who helped her. Thank you to Grand River, Courtney Kueter and Jessie, Dr. Khan at Finley, Dr. Mike Chapman and Shannon and Dr. Tara Brock at Medical Associates and the entire cancer team. Breast cancer specialist, Dr. Lillian Erdahl, eye specialist, Dr. Ian Han at Iowa City Hospitals and Clinics, and last but not least, the wonderful team at Hospice of Dubuque. A huge thanks to all of you for many wonderful years of dedication and the great healthcare you provided Mom.
Mom was unique in her own special way. Our Mother always had food on the table, clothes on our backs and a roof over our heads. She always educated us about responsibility, respect, and the values of life, which we very much appreciate. All of us kids have grown and were strengthened by that. Mom always had a special saying, if she had the money to buy something, she would buy it, otherwise she waited until she did have it, and then bought it. But somehow Mom always managed to make us smile and enjoy the little things in life, we deeply appreciate that. Mom will be missed by all her family and friends.
Mom’s favorite saying was, “I was out to lunch”, she even had special license plates with that phrase.
Mom, we love you and miss you very much!
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Kennicker children in Caroline’s memory and may be mailed to Behr Funeral Home, 1491 Main Street, Dubuque, Iowa 52001, Attn. Caroline Welsh Family.
The complete obituary may be read and online condolences may be left for the family at www.behrfuneralhome.com