Catholic 08

William J. Welbes

September 29, 1951 ~ August 22, 2021 (age 69)


William “Bill” J Welbes, 69, of Urbana, died Sunday August 22, 2021 at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana after a brief illness.

He was born September 29, 1951 in Chicago, IL to William F Welbes and Mary Price Welbes.  He was raised in Indiana, developed his lifelong love of playing baseball, and graduated from Gavit High School in Hammond, IN.  He attended Missouri Valley College on a baseball scholarship, was a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity, and graduated with a BA in Business Administration in 1973.

Bill enjoyed a rewarding career in the hospitality industry including both sales and management. He co-owned Urbana establishments including Main Street Eatery, Shamrock Tavern, and BC’s Bar and Grill.  He was a member of St Patrick’s Catholic Church, Urbana Business Association, and past president of both Urbana Lions Club and Urbana High School Baseball Boosters. In his spare time, he enjoyed playing on basketball, softball, bowling, and golf leagues.

In 1999, he married Beth Chamberlain Welbes and they joyfully welcomed their son Jacob in 2001.  Bill then found his true calling in life: to be an amazing dad. They shared a special and everlasting bond. Bill showed and expressed his love with Jake daily, even after he left home for college. Both loved Illini sports and Chicago sports teams with a special passion for the White Sox. Bill was a devoted coach, volunteer, and supporter of Jake’s baseball teams over the years, and made a difference in the lives of so many youth who he loudly cheered for, hugged, and supported both on and off the field.

Bill lived life with his special brand of gusto. You always knew when Bill was in the room with his jovial voice, laugh, and often a friendly arm around your shoulder or hearty pat on the back.  Faith, family, and friends brought such joy to his life.

Bill was welcomed to Heaven by his father William F Welbes and will be forever remembered by his wife Beth, son Jacob, mother Mary Welbes, sister Marge (Bill) Bellis, brother Bob (Sherry) Welbes, brother-in-law Frank Chamberlain, sister-in-law Ellen (Charlie) Chamberlain Warmbrunn, nephews Scott Bellis, Matthew Call, Samuel Call, Matthew Welbes, great-niece Lizzie, and his four-legged “baby girl” Emma, in addition to a wide circle of friends.

A memorial mass will be held at St Patrick’s Catholic Church in Urbana at 10:00am on Saturday, September 4, 2021 with a visitation at the church starting at 9:00am. Masks are recommended at this time. After pandemic restrictions are lifted, we will gather to celebrate his life and memories on a future date to be determined.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Champaign County Humane Society.

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