Grayson ‘Buddy’ Bennett Jr.

Grayson “Buddy” Bennett Jr., 87, of Rayville, died Friday, June 18. Funeral arrangements are under the care of Griffin Funeral Home in Monroe.

Cindy Lori Stanfield Conville

Funeral services for Cindy Lori Stanfield Conville, 62 of Monroe, were held Saturday, June 19, 2021 in the chapel of Kilpatrick Funeral Home in West Monroe. Interment followed at Mt. Driskell Cemetery near Arcadia.

Cora Lee Hammons Gulett

Funeral services for Cora Lee Hammons Gulett, 82 of West Monroe, will be held at 2 p.m., Thursday (today), June 24, 2021 at Ridge Avenue Baptist Church. Interment will follow at Longstraw Cemetery in Choudrant under direction of Kilpatrick Funeral Home of West Monroe.

Reginald Gosdin

Reginald Gosdin of Monroe, was born on Jan. 1,1932 and died on June 20, 2021 at the age of 89. Arrangements made under the direction of Griffin Funeral Home in Monroe.

Brian Keith Hopkins

Funeral services for Brian Keith Hopkins 65, of West Monroe, who died on Friday, June 17, 2021, were held on Monday, June 21, 2021 at Griffin Funeral Home in West Monroe. Interment followed at Roselawn Memorial Gardens, under the direction of Griffin Funeral Home in West Monroe.

Reitha Marie Lee

Funeral services for Reitha Marie Lee, 91, of West Monroe, will be held at 2 p.m., Friday, June 25, 2021 at Griffin Funeral Home in West Monroe. Visitation will be held from 12 noon until the time of the service at 2 p.m.

John Wesley Nielsen

Graveside services for John Wesley Nielsen 80, of Epps, who died on Saturday, June 20, 2021, were held on Wednesday, June 23, 2021at Faith Memorial Cemetery in Epps, under the direction of Griffin Funeral Home in Monroe.

Mel Alan Pivont

Mel Alan Pivont, 72, of Monroe, died on Friday, June 18, 2021. Funeral arrangements are under the care of Griffin Funeral Home in Monroe.

John William Smith

John William Smith, 73, of Farmerville, died on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. Funeral arrangements are under the care of Griffin Funeral Home in West Monroe.

Portia ‘Pat’ Elaine Tolbert

Portia “Pat” Elaine Tolbert, 75, of Farmerville, died on Saturday, June 19, 2021. Funeral arrangements are under the care of Griffin Funeral Home in West Monroe.

Charlie Bart Welch

Funeral services for Charlie Bart Welch were at 11 a.m. Wednesday, June 23, 2021, in the chapel of Kilpatrick Funeral Home, West Monroe with Dr. Mark Fenn officiating. Interment followed at Hasley Cemetery. Visitation is from 9-11 a.m. Wednesday.

Charlie Bart Welch passed away peacefully in his home in Hewitt, Texas, surrounded by his loved ones on Saturday, June 19, 2021. Charlie was born on April 16, 1930 in Monroe, Louisiana, to Almeda Studdard Welch and Roy Clyde Welch. He attended Ouachita Parish High School, Northeast Junior College (now University of Louisiana at Monroe) and Louisiana State University. He met his beautiful bride, Edwina Albritton Welch while in Ouachita Parish High School and though they were in medical training at NJC, they did not begin to date until they were at LSU. In high school, they even sang in the Ouachita Parish High School Choir, Charlie, a bass/baritone, Edwina, a talented alto. They were married on August 14, 1953.

Charlie graduated with a degree in Chemistry and Bacteriology. He was also a certified Medical Technologist. He served in the Army during the Korean Conflict and was based at Ft. Lewis in Olympia, Washington. After serving in the Army, he and his wife and their two-year-old daughter, Martha Lynne (Gackle), returned to West Monroe, Louisiana where he and Edwina welcomed Britton David Welch on Charlie’s birthday, April 16, 1963. There was not a happier man on the planet than Charlie was on that day!

Upon their return from Washington to West Monroe in 1957, Charlie was employed as a chemist in research and development at Brown Paper Mill (Olinkraft, Inc.) which later was known as John Manville, Riverwood International, Corp. and ultimately, Graphic Packaging, Inc. for almost 40 years.

While working in Research and Development in the Forest Products Division of Olinkraft, Charlie was instrumental in creating ways of mitigating and reducing water pollution as a result of the effluents of the pulp and paper process. He served as President of TAPPI, (Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry) and presented at various conferences. Charlie had an inquisitive mind and each scientific task which he undertook was completed with great care and methodic precision. Charlie retired from Graphics Packaging, Inc. in 1994.

Throughout their marriage, both Charlie and Edwina were extremely active in the First Baptist Church of West Monroe, Louisiana where they both sang in the Sanctuary Choir, where he was ordained as a Deacon (2001) and where he led the “tape ministry” outreach to shut-ins who were not able to attend services.

Always, community minded, Charlie was an active member of the SERTOMA Club of West Monroe and was a founding member of the Youth House of Ouachita, Inc. II which provides girls with long term care, typically finishing vocational training courses or attaining a G.E.D. or High School diploma. He and Edwina, in earlier years, were avid members of the Strauss Playhouse Little Theater of Monroe and even were a part of several musical productions.

Charlie was always proud of his children and was an avid concert/recital attendee at his daughter, Lynne’s performances both at Baylor University and throughout her career. Charlie also attended as many Dixie Youth baseball and Ridgedale Academy basketball games as possible for his son, Britt. Charlie cared about others and was generous almost to a fault. If he could help someone, he would try to do it — whether by giving his time or from his personal resources; he was a kind and sensitive person.

In their later years, Charlie and Edwina travelled the world, backpacking in Europe for 6 weeks and touring Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific for almost 2 months in the 1990’s. Charlie loved nature and had a natural curiosity for all things around him – nature, art, music, and philosophy. In his later years, he typically could be found at the computer and would frequently purchase the newest Apple product that his son-in-law, Merlin, would introduce to him (iWatch, iPhone, iPad, etc.) whether he knew how to work it or not!

Charlie and Edwina enjoyed trips to see their children in Florida and Texas (Lynne and Merlin) and North Carolina and Virginia (Britt and Rose). Charlie’s bright red hair was passed along to his one and only granddaughter, Megan Elisabeth Gackle and no one could make his eyes light up as quickly as his great-granddaughter, McKenna Lynne.

He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Edwina (Albritton), his daughter, Martha Lynne (husband, Merlin R. Gackle), of Waco, TX; his son, Britton David (wife, Rose Tompkins Welch) of Zion Crossroads, VA; granddaughter, Megan Elisabeth Gackle and great-granddaughter, McKenna Lynne Gackle both of North Richland Hills, TX, as well as one sister, Scottie Welch Lindstrom of Monroe, Louisiana. He is preceded in death by his mother and father as well as his brother, Roy Clyde Welch, Jr. and Dr. Juanita Welch Fink.

The family would like to express deepest gratitude for Charlie’s caregivers, Joyce Collazo, Kelsie Lovel and Samantha Gibson (Right at Home, Inc.) who loved and cared for him so well. We are so deeply grateful to the staff and the administration of Stoneybrook Assisted Living of Hewitt, for providing Charlie and Edwina a welcoming home, care, and many friendships.

The family requests that memorials be made to the Alzheimer’s Association or to the Youth House of Ouachita, Inc. II.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at


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