Charles Welch – “Charlie Chuck” to Listeners over the Years

W. Charles Welch, 85, passed away on Sunday, April 21, 2024 of natural causes. Chuck was born on November 8, 1938 to George and Ethel Mae Welch in Talladega, Alabama. At the age of 12 he moved to Detroit, Michigan to be with his father. He joined Greater St. Peter A.M.E. Zion Church where his dad attended. His dad spoke to him about the “Chester” family, a nice family at the church he should connect with.

He then met Marjorie Chester at choir rehearsal. They became sweethearts at the age of 13 and 14. When Marjorie turned 16 they were pre-engaged. Charles joined the United States Army at age 17, serving his country in Germany. Charles and Marjorie married and went on to have four children, Rosalind, Katrina, Debra and Charles Bernard along with Chuck’s youngest daughter Trina.

Welch has a long list of jobs and businesses. Including jobs as a golf caddy in Alabama, worker at Dodge Main, selling Kirby vacuums, teaching drivers education, car salesman at Grogan’s Town, WKLR, The Ohio Lottery Commission, Barden Cable in Detroit, Fox 36, KCOH in Houston, Texas, WVOI in Toledo, main pianist at nightclubs in Detroit, owning The Pantheon Theater, Pantheon Records, a Church’s Chicken franchise, and part owner of a nightclub in Detroit called The Cherry Garden.

Welch started his career in radio in the 1960’s working for free at WJLB. He was encouraged by WJLB’s infamous DJ Ken “Master Blaster” Bell that their sister station in Toledo was hiring. His career ladder included: broadcasting with WKLR, Booth Broadcasting and one year later served as the Station Manager; Sales Manager for KCOH in Houston, TX as well as WWWS in Saginaw, Michigan; and General Manager for WVOI JACOR Communications here in Toledo, Ohio.

He got the job in Toledo radio working at WKLR in 1969! His radio name is “Charlie Chuck”. In 1997 Mr. Welch started The Juice FM 107.3 (WJUC) and entered the history books by becoming the first African American in Ohio to start a radio station from the ground up.

After years in the industry, both behind the mike and as general manager, Welch feels that it was a natural transition and one that enabled him to expand what he could say and do. “Being your own boss, you can do what you want as long as you don’t break the FCC rules,” he says. As his own boss, he could address civil rights issues, for example, without station owners silencing him for fear of losing advertisers.

Charles was predeceased by his “Queen” Marjorie Chester Welch, parents Ethel Mae and George Welch Sr. granddaughter Sydney Lynn, and seven brothers.

He is survived by his daughters Rosalind Welch, Katrina Welch (Andre), Debra Lynn Hogan(Richard), Trina Lyons-Bishop (Arthur) and son Charles B., sisters Janice Brasher and Rose Nell Luke, baby brother Carter Wayne Welch and 4 sisters-in-law, He also leaves behind 18 grandchildren, 7 great-grandchildren (and two more on the way), and so many others that he looked upon as his children and family.

Special thank you to Davida Dialysis at Flower Hospital, Dr. Kristen Bodine-Zeller, MD, Dr. Brad Barricklow, DDS, and Hospice of Northwest Ohio for the wonderful care they provided.

Visitation will be Friday, May 3 at St. Paul A.M.E. Zion Church 954 Belmont, Toledo from 3-7 pm. Funeral will be Saturday, May 4that Friendship Baptist Church, 5301 Nebraska Ave, Toledo at 11am. Flowers should be sent to The House of Day Funeral Service, 2550 Nebraska Ave, Toledo, OH 43607.