Breckenridge Texan

Jo Claire Welch

Jo Claire Welch
January 17
09:51 2018

Jo Claire Welch, age 78 of Houston formerly of Breckenridge, passed away Sunday, January 7, 2018, peacefully and without pain after a prolonged illness and hospitalization. Graveside funeral services will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, January 20, 2018, at the Breckenridge Cemetery. Visitation will be held at 10 a.m., Saturday, January 20, at Morehart Mortuary. Services have been entrusted to Morehart Mortuary.

Jo Claire Welch was born February 28, 1939, in Stephens County, Texas, to parents, Clair Vernon Welch and Josephine Goodall Welch. Jo Claire, known for her determination, spirited nature, and remarkable intellect, graduated from Trinity University in 1960 with a BA in English and went on to teach school for several years in Odessa. But Jo Claire’s true passion was flying, which she fervently pursued. She accumulated 1,500 hours of flying time in just two-and-a-half years and obtained both private and commercial pilot licenses, as well as a flight instructor rating. In 1969, Jo Claire made history, as well as an unlikely career change, when she was hired to fly full-time by a new commuter airline, Air East, becoming the nation’s first female commercial co-pilot. In later years, Jo Claire managed the finances for the family business, and became a devoted cat-lover and joined the SPCA. Jo Claire was preceded in death by her parents, her aunt, Nancy Goodall Ross; and her uncle, Dr. Edwin Goodall, to whom she gave credit for cultivating her love of flying.

Jo Claire is survived by her two sisters, Mary Welch Rose and Nancy Welch Harrison; five nieces and nephews, Eric Rose and wife Adriana, and their children, Rachel Rose, John Rose, and Daniel Rose; Deanna Rose Hammond and husband David; Katherine Rose and husband Jimmy Washer; Curtis Wray Harrison II, his wife Debbie and their children, Ashlee Harrison, Stephanie Harrison, and J.C. Harrison; Christi Harrison Reynolds and husband Keith, and her children, Jacob Albin, Eli Albin, Owen Albin, and Witen Albin; her aunt, Barbara Goodall; three cousins, Gene Ross; Deborah Goodall; and Gregg E. Goodall, his wife Jan, and their son Travor.

Memorials may be made to Condolences may be made online at

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