Mary Lavinia Allen Welsh-89 of Miami, FL, passed away following a short illness on Wednesday, October 30, 2019. She died the way she lived-on her own terms. She was born in Miami Beach on July 5, 1930 to Lavinia and John Allen Sr. Mary was the eldest of 4 children that includes Beverly Bechamps-deceased, John Allen Jr. and Elizabeth Mauller.
Mary and John Robert “Dig” Welsh met while Mary attended Mount St. Agnes College in Baltimore, MD and were later married in Ft. Lauderdale, FL and remained married until his death in 2013. They were blessed with 6 children…which by today’s standards seems like a lot, but the joke was that they named their children in alphabetical order to avoid confusion and keep them straight. Children: Anne Marie Johnson (Larry), Barbara Jean Wilson (Richard), Cindy Colangelo-deceased (Joseph), Debbie Platt (Victor), Ellen Lavinia Elam (Drew), Frank Welsh; Grandchildren: Michael Johnson, John Robert Johnson-deceased, Jesse Welsh DeAnda, Allison Wilson, Abby Platt, Becky Platt, Tony Colangelo and IV Elam; Great-granddaughter: Cynthia Johnson.
In addition to raising her children, Mary was devoted to serve others and education. If she saw a need, she would always jump in and fill it. It never mattered whether she received recognition or not, it was important to her that the job got done correctly. First and foremost, her role was as a mother and leader. She was mother to her children and the many kids who came in and out of the house always having plenty of food for whomever might be around. A common phrase from her was “if you didn’t get enough to eat, it’s your own fault.” There are many others who have called her “Mom” over the years.
She assisted with the family business of Allen’s Drug Store for many years and eventually ran a small ceramic business of her own. She not only grew her creativity through this business but formed many lifelong friendships. She was always very involved in whatever church she was a part of. She served as a leader in Council of Catholic Women as well as her work with her current parish Christ the King Catholic Church along with previous parishes St. Augustine and St Brendan. During the more than 20+ years her children were in school she was active in the Parent Teacher Associations in many roles and was a Girl Scout leader. Mary was a force to be reckoned with, she took her role as mother and leader very seriously.
Mary lived a full life and believed in education. It was important for her to find the reasons why in situations, and it was because of this that her wishes were to have her body donated to the University of Miami School of Medicine for research and education.
Special thanks to the staff at Sunny Hills Assisted Living Facility where Mary was treated like family for the past 2 and a half years. Also thanks to the nurses and doctors at Vitas Healthcare for their dedicated care.
Mass for Mary will be celebrated at 3 pm on Sunday, November 3 at Christ the King Catholic Church at 16000 SW 112 Avenue, Miami, FL with a repast (reception) immediately following. The Family requests that donations be made to the Office of Medical Education at the University of Miami in her memory to help improve resources for student education.