Born in Macon County, he was the son of the late Austin Welch and Pearl Morgan Welch. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife of 65 years, Christine Huggins Welch, who died April 27, 2010; son, Gary Welch; granddaughter, Claudia Welch Griffith; grandson, Andy Welch; sisters, Nell Baxter and Joyce Carter; and brothers, Hal, Clyde, Paul, Dover, Thad and Glenn. Claude was a U.S. Navy veteran of WWII receiving a purple heart. He was a well-respected building contractor and owner of Claude Welch Construction for over 43 years and was the owner of Franklin Motel for 26 years. He was a member of Burningtown Baptist Church where he formerly served as Deacon and Treasurer. He was a member of the board of directors for First Union Bank, and was an avid ginseng hunter.
He is survived by three children, Dale Welch and wife Tava, Ben Welch and wife Debbie and Claudine McCrackin, all of Franklin; sister, Dorothy Cliff of Texas; eight grandchildren; fourteen great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.
Funeral Service will be held 2 p.m. Saturday, March 15, in the Chapel of Macon Funeral Home. Rev. Steve Reeves will officiate. Burial will be in the Burningtown Baptist Cemetery.
The family will receive friends from 6-8 p.m. Friday, March 14, at Macon Funeral Home.
Pallbearers will be Zachary Welch, Christopher Turner, Christopher Welch, Bill Queen, Eddie Swafford and Doug Welch.
Macon Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements. Online condolences can be made at maconfuneralhome.com.