Wanda Welch, 72, of Carlsbad, New Mexico, was welcomed into the arms of her Lord and Savior on January 11, 2023. She was born on February 19, 1950, to Colon Grey and Dorothy Mildred Culberson in Chatham County, North Carolina. After completing high school and cosmetology school, Wanda married Robert Michael Welch on June 22, 1968. In 1973, they moved to New Mexico.
Wanda was a woman who loved the Lord, her family, her career and her community. She was a beloved wife, mother and Nana – not only to her immediate and extended family, but all those she adopted as her own. Her gift of hospitality made her home a gathering place where everyone was welcome, well fed, loved and encouraged. She was her children’s biggest supporter attending every event and serving as the Treasurer for the Carlsbad High School Choir Boosters.
Wanda began an incredibly successful career in real estate and served the community at Carlsbad Real Estate, Century 21 and Distinction Realty. She served on the Carlsbad Board of Realtors and was named Realtor Volunteer for the State of New Mexico. She was well respected by her peers and loved by her clients, many who became lifelong friends.
Wanda was passionate about her community. In 2004, she was named Carlsbad Citizen of the Year and received the Lifetime Achievement in Economic Development in 2018. She was also given the President’s Points of Light National Volunteer Award. For 14 years, she served on Keep Carlsbad Beautiful. Among some of her favorite accomplishments, she, Deanna Taylor and others created Millennium Park and Friendship Park, a playground created to accommodate children with disabilities. She also served on the board at Landsun, was a member of the Assistance League of Carlsbad, was involved in the Republican Party and served as campaign manager for numerous candidates. Wanda touched many lives as an active member of the First United Methodist Church leading youth and confirmation classes.
Wanda is survived by her husband, Mike Welch of Carlsbad, NM; son, Mike Welch and wife, Deanna of Carlsbad, NM; daughter, Wendy Chesser and husband, Rody of San Angelo, Texas; grandchildren: TaNessa Sedillo and husband, David, TaLynn Harvey and husband, Riley, TaBree Welch, Shelby Welch, Kyra Wallace and husband, Spencer, David Chesser, Katie Chesser, Josie Chesser and Julia Chesser; great-grandchildren: David, Dominic, Derrick and Rynlee Sedillo and Hath Harvey; brother, Edwin Culberson; sister-in-law, Patty Neinast and husband, Mark and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
Wanda was preceded in death by her parents; brother, Shelby “Porky” Culberson; sisters-in-law: Linda Culberson and Jeanne Stone; father-in-law, Clyde Hunt Welch; mother-in-law, Dorothy Jean Welch Horney and father-in-law, Harry L. Horney.
Funeral services will be held, Friday, January 20, 2023, at 2:00pm at the First United Methodist Church with the Reverend Scott Meador, FUMC, and her son-in-law, Pastor Rody Chesser of Open Door Family Fellowship, officiating. Services will be live streamed and may be viewed below the obituary. The family will welcome guests following the service. Honorary pallbearers are Bob Forrest, John Beasley, Buzz Sexton, Dick Van Dyke, Mike Vlosich, Larry Henderson and Danny Fletcher.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to CARC Inc. at www.carcinc.org or to the Friendship Park Fund for a memorial bench, c/o Carlsbad Foundation.
Condolences may be expressed at dentonwood.com