Mary Welch better known as “Mickey” was a successful owner of many businesses over the years, including Welch Oil & Gas, Welch Music, Commercial Office Equipment, and Classic Rope, among others. She was also a business associate of Mister Bee Potato Chips. As a business leader she was a preeminent example for many women that enter the business world, particularly those in male dominated fields. As a result, in 1987 she was awarded the Trailblazer W.E.A.L.T.H. award by the YWCA of Parkersburg and the Altrusa Club. In the ‘80s she became the first woman in WV to drill an oil well. She remained active in her oil and gas businesses for many years, retiring in 2014.
Mickey belonged to several organizations over the years and was a passionate supporter of numerous community non-profits, serving on several boards of those organizations during her lifetime. A partial list of Board service includes Camden Clark Hospital, SW Resources, YWCA, the Art Center, and the Oil, Gas, and Industrial Historical Association Museum. Organizations she belonged to or actively supported include Lambda Chi Omega, Habitat for Humanity, American Red Cross, Parkesburg Art Center, Boys & Girls Club, American Cancer Society, Chamber of Commerce, Moose Club, IOGA, YMCA, Rotary Club, 4-H Clubs, West Virginia University Foundation, WVU-P Foundation, Girl Scouts, Artsbridge, Parkersburg High School Athletics and Art Programs, Parkersburg Area Community Foundation, United Way, VFW 1212 and Mickey’s House in Charleston, South Carolina.
Mickey had a heart for helping those less fortunate, particularly “the kids.” She was a major supporter and sponsor of the Montessori School at the Parkersburg YWCA . In 2017, through the Project H.O.M.E. organization she became the major sponsor of Mickey’s House, a facility supporting homeless students in Charleston, SC.
Although Mickey was an active volunteer and financial donor she never did any of these things for the recognition. Nonetheless, she was the recipient of numerous awards including a Golden Hammer Award in 2017 for sponsoring a home for Habitat; the first Philanthropist of the Year award winner given by the WVU-P Foundation in 2019, a Fraternal Order of Police Award, an Honoree Rotarian Award, and was recently recognized by SW Resources for her support and dedication over the years.
Mickey passed at the age of 92 in 2017 but her memory will live on forever in Mickey’s House.