Jerome (Jerry) A. Welty
A memorial service for Jerome A. (Jerry) Welty, a summer resident of Beaver Valley for more than 35 years, will be held at the BV fire station at 11 a.m., Saturday, May 23. Friends and acquaintances are invited to share their recollections of Welty by joining this celebration of life service.
Mr. Welty and his wife, Darlene, were among the early modern residents of Beaver Valley. The Phoenix couple began construction of their unusual two-story summer home in the early 1970s. It was constructed using a redwood wine vat, previously used in the Valley. The 3,000-gallon vat formed the home’s living room and a sleeping loft. Each year they came to Rim Country in mid-May and stayed until mid-October.
An accomplished storyteller, Welty enjoyed recalling the beginning development of Beaver Valley, including the canal that carried water from the East Verde River near Water Wheel camping area to the BV Water Company and small railroad that ran through the community. The train is now a popular attraction at McCormick Railroad Park in Scottsdale.
Born in Dubuque, Iowa to Richard and Olive Welty, he grew up enjoying various forms of art. But a stint in the U.S. Navy during World War II sidetracked his talents. When he returned home, Welty took up commercial refrigeration design. In 1957 he moved Darlene and his two sons to Phoenix. He worked as a commercial refrigeration contractor for Searls Refrigeration for many years.
Art remained a pleasure to him as he used branches of trees found in the forest to sculpt forms, many of which had a humorous aspect. He drew the map featured in the “Beaver Valley History Book,” published in 2001. Welty helped raise funds to form the Beaver Valley Fire District. He was a life member of the Don’s Club of Arizona and was active in the Arizona Flycasters Club.
Welty died Dec. 18, 2008 at Valley of the Sun Hospice following a battle with cancer. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Darlene (Ayers) Welty; sons, James (Gayle) of California and Jeffrey (Cherrie) of Illinois; five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.