Sheila Welch Passes Away

buster-sheila-welchSheila and Buster Welch in 2011 • QHN File PhotoSheila Welch, wife of legendary trainer Buster Welch, passed away Dec. 7 at her home in Rotan, Texas. She was 76. A cutting legend in her own right, Sheila’s big smile was only surpassed by her kind heart and exceptional horsemanship abilities.

Although Welch began riding cutting horses in 1966, her first recorded National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) earnings were in 1978. Between that year and when she hung up her show spurs in 2001, she won numerous championships and titles, was inducted into the NCHA Non-Professional Hall of Fame and, according to Equi-Stat, had earnings of $1,065,604.

Welch’s last title, 2001 NCHA Super Stakes Non-Pro Gelding Stakes Reserve Champion riding My Haida, was especially sweet, since it was a comeback victory following a stroke she had suffered three years earlier.

Welch is preceded in death by her parents, Frances Joseph and Wilma Loraine (Scott) Dolin; one sister, Pat Quinn; one brother, Joseph Frances Dolin; a son, Greg Welch; a grandson, Sterling Wilson; and a granddaughter, Whitney Welch.

She is survived by her husband of 42 years, Buster; two sons, Ken Welch and wife, Dixie, of Baird, and Dolin Morris and wife, Becky, of Merkel; three daughters, Ruth Ann Siebers of Roscoe, Georgia Welch of Stanton, and Nina Finley and husband, David, of San Angelo; one brother, F.J. Dolin of California; two sisters, Sheron Long of Madisonville, and Kate Violini of California; ten grandchildren, Amy (Josh), Katy, Kelly, Lance, Jenny (Matt), Abby (J.B.), Dawson (Rebecca), Kirby (Mark), Brooke (Cole), and Charlsi (Tyler); thirteen great-grandchildren, and a host of nieces, nephews, and beloved friends.

Her family held a private Graveside service at Cottonwood Flats Cemetery. A Memorial Service will be held at 2 p.m. on Dec. 15 at the River of Life Church in Abilene, Texas. Read a complete obituary and sign the online guest book here.