The Gross & Welch law firm lost its last link to its founders with Wednesday's death of Eugene P. Welch, 78.
Harry Welch, Eugene's father, and Dan Gross founded the firm in 1927. Eugene Welch was with the firm from 1962 until retirement in 2005.
He died at the Eastern Nebraska Veterans Home in Bellevue after a long illness, said son Michael Welch of Minneapolis.
“He was a trial lawyer. He did a lot of insurance practice and insurance defense. He was at his prime in the courtroom,” Mike Welch said of his father.
“He was a dutiful guy. He was a guy who you just felt (that) if you were under his wing, no wrong could happen,” his son said.
Eugene Welch served as secretary of the Omaha Bar Association from 1974-78 and president from 1979-80. As a member of the Nebraska State Bar Association, he chaired several committees and served in the House of Delegates.
He was a member of the Judicial Qualifications Commission from 1974-80 and a member of the Judicial Nominating Commission and the Supreme Court Committee on Practice and Procedure. He was president of the Nebraska Defense Counsel Association, a member of the Nebraska State Bar Foundation, American College of Trial Lawyers and the International Society of Barristers.
He also was an adjunct professor at Creighton University School of Law and a director of Gross & Welch.
Welch grew up in Omaha, graduating from Creighton Prep, then the University of Nebraska in 1956 and Creighton University School of Law in 1962. Between the two college stints, he served in the Air Force.
Besides his son, other survivors include his wife of 52 years, Jean of Omaha; children Chris Gerwick of Highlands Ranch, Colo., Jeff Welch of Weston, Fla., and Katie Henningsen of Omaha; and eight grandchildren.
His funeral Mass will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic Church, 11900 Pacific St.
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