He started his political career as a city councilman after graduating from Abilene Christian University . He served as a councilman for nine years until he was elected mayor in 1963. He served five terms until 1974.
Mayor Welch had been active in civic affairs since he left office. He was president and CEO of the Houston Chamber of Commerce for 12 years.
Welch leaves behind his wife, Helen, nine children and 21 grandchildren.
"He deeply loved the city of Houston like no one I've ever known," his son Dr. Gary Welch told us. "He was a student of the city, he knew the city charter like the back of his hand."
Funeral arrangements have not been set.