Friends and colleagues remember longtime Pike Co. educator

PIKE COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - Friends and family are mourning the loss of a long time Pike County educator. 78 year old Frank Welch died yesterday afternoon. He was an educator and mentor for 49 years in the county.

He is a man who many say left his mark on the Pike County school system. David Lester worked with Welch for 35 years, "He was a remarkable educator as well as an individual he did so much for students, staff, and administrators in Pike County."

Former Pike County School Board member, John Blackburn, says Welch was a, "A man who loved his Lord and loved his family and just had boundless energy."

Welch began his remarkable 49 year career in Pike County Schools as a teacher at Belfry High School. Following his time as a teacher, Welch went on to serve as a principal for 27 years, and then led as superintendent for eight years before retiring in 2006.

Former student Brandon Roberts says, "Him being an educator was a labor of love for him. "Of course you don't have to do that for 49 years. He could have retired a long time ago." Roberts explains, "It was in him to get up every day and come to Belfry High School wether it was when he was a teacher, a principal, or when he became superintendant. He got up every day and came to work, it is what he loved to do, and he did it well."

Colleagues call Welch an innovator with infectious optimism who transformed the school district. Those who knew him say a void has been left in Pike County as Roberts says, "You don't replace a Frank Welch."

Visitation will be held from 6-9pm Thursday and Friday in the Belfry High School Auditorium. There will be a special service at 7 PM Thursday night.

Funeral services will be held Saturday at 11am at the Belfry High School Auditorium.

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