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Dr. David Welsh

Longtime Kaiser Fontana surgeon, US Air Force veteran, writer

David Bradford Welsh died from Alzheimer’s disease and a stroke on May 5 at Mt. San Antonio Gardens in Claremont, at 78 years of age, with his wife and son at his side. He will be missed by all as a loving husband and father, and a caring physician.

David was born February 1, 1942, in Fall River, Massachusetts to Marian Davis Welsh and Joseph Welsh. He grew up in New Bedford, near Cape Cod, where he was a lifeguard for seven summers and taught swimming and lifesaving classes. 

He earned his bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University and MD from Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston. He met his wife Ahlene Marshall at Iowa State, and they were married on July 17, 1965 in Toledo, Ohio. They moved to Claremont in 1974.

Dr. Welsh spent 31 years at Kaiser Permanente in Fontana, specializing in vascular surgery. In 1992 he received the Ray Kay Award, given to one physician a year for personal excellence; and the Internal Medicine Consultant of the Year Award, which was established just for him.

He was founding chairman of the Bioethics Committee at Kaiser Fontana. Respected for his skills at surgery and for the way he treated patients, staff, and other physicians with kindness and civility, he was one to whom other doctors brought their families.

While serving in the Air Force 1968 to 1971 in Fukuoka, Japan, he and Ms. Welsh took a college extension course in Japanese on the base and enjoyed traveling around the country. They also traveled in southeast Asia and later made wonderful trips all over the world, managing to visit every continent.

When he retired he took a course in Japanese at Pomona College. He also began writing action-adventure novels, three of which he self-published. He enjoyed playing golf for many years, and was especially proud of his six holes-in-one.

He is survived by his wife, Ahlene; son, Terence and daughter-in-law Clara; grandson, Atlas; brother, James; and nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his parents; son, Joseph; and sister, Margo. 

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial donations be made to Mt. San Antonio Gardens Homeship Fund at www.msagardens.org/giving; or Doctors Without Borders at www.doctorswithoutborders.org.

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