Chattanooga TV personality Don Welch has passed away at the age of 75, ending his battle with Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia.

The Dayton, Tenn. native first made his mark in Chattanooga broadcasting in the 1960s, as a news reader and disc jockey on WDXB radio. 

Welch’s 52-year broadcast career included stints on local radio and television. After leaving WDXB radio in 1967, he became an announcer at WRCB Channel 3.  Then-news director Fred Gault said, “He was hired to read commercials, and worked his way into the control room where he learned to direct newscasts.”  One day, they needed somebody to fill in doing the weather, and he said, “I can talk my way through anything, I can do this too.”

For the next six years, did a little bit of everything on Channel 3, eventually becoming the regular weekday weatherman. In 1975, WTVC Channel 9’s new general manager Jane Grams began the process of hiring a new anchor team. The station had selected Darrell Patterson as its new sports anchor, then hired Bob Johnson as news anchor. but needed a weather personality to complete the new team. Patterson knew Welch from their radio days, and recommended him to  Channel 9 managers.

The team was only in place for about five years, but many viewers still remember the trio fondly, calling them “The Three Musketeers.”

In recent years, Welch co-hosted WTVC's morning news with Melydia Clewell and Bill Race.  From 2005 until his retirement in 2014, he hosted a midday show called, "This 'n That."  Funeral arrangements have not been announced.

To read David Carroll's personal tribute to Don Welch, click HERE.

Obituary information is provided by Hamilton Funeral Home:

Emmitt N. “Don” Welch, Jr., passed away peacefully at his Hixson home, surrounded by family, on Sunday, October 15, 2017. 

He was born on March 10, 1942, in Dayton, Tennessee, the son of the late Emmitt, Sr. and Mildred White Welch.

Don enjoyed a 52 year career as a broadcaster in the Chattanooga area working with WTVC News Channel 9 where he was affectionately known as “Grandpappy Welch”. Don also hosted Good Morning Chattanooga for many years and ended his career as host of This N That with Don Welch. He retired from the business he loved on April 23, 2014.

Don loved Chattanooga and was very active in many associations and clubs throughout the area. He was a 32nd Degree Mason and held memberships with the York Rite, the Scottish Rite, and the Alahambra Shrine. He was also active in the Royal Order of Jesters, Court 39, as well as, the Highlander Drum and Pipe Band. Don also served on the board for CADAS, the Hamilton County Beer Board and served as a former board member of Goodwill. 

In addition to his parents, Don was also preceded in death by his mother-in-law, Muriel Donna McCoy. 

Survivors include his wife, Sammie McCoy Welch; children, Cyndi (David) Finley, Stefannie Welch and Mitzi (Slate) Boyd; grandchildren, Ariel (Chad) Brunk, Logan (Ashton) Finley, Olivia and Jake Fuqua and Paytin Boyd; brother, Jack (Jody) Welch; and several nieces and nephews.

A public gathering to remember and celebrate his life will be held on Friday, October 20, 2017, from 4:00-8:00 pm at Hamilton Funeral Home, Hixson Pike. 

A private family service and committal will be held at a later date. 
Those desiring may make a contribution, in Don’s name, to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. Contributions may be made online at or by mail, Foundation Processing, Michael J. Fox Foundation, Post Office Box 5014, Hagerstown, MD 21741-5014.

Arrangements are by Hamilton Funeral Home & Cremation Services; 4506 Hixson Pike. 423-531-3975