James F. "Frank" Welch, businessman

James F. "Frank" Welch, the retired president and owner of an Anne Arundel County home building company, died Friday of heart failure at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. He was 87.

James Franklin Welch was born in Baltimore and raised in Glen Burnie, where he graduated in 1943 from Glen Burnie High School.


From 1943 to 1945, he served as a navigator in the Army Air Forces.

After World War II, he studied for three years at the Maryland Institute College of Art. He later worked as a draftsman in Baltimore for Edward Colwell & Co. before founding Countryside Homes in the early 1960s in Severna Park.


Mr. Welch's company built homes primarily in West Severna Park, Berrywood and Round Bay. He retired in 1990 and dissolved his business.

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In 1947, he married Marjorie Eleanor Stevens, an administrative assistant. The couple settled in Severna Park, where they lived for 57 years and raised their three daughters.

Mr. Welch had been an active member for more than 50 years of the Glen Burnie Rotary Club, of which he had been president and head of its scholarship foundation.

He was an avid Orioles and Ravens fan and enjoyed gardening and playing golf.

He was a member of the Chartwell Country Club in Severna Park and the Annapolis Yacht Club.

Mr. Welch was a founding member of the Severna Park United Methodist Church, 731 Benfield Road, where services will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Welch is survived by three daughters, Cheryl L. Hancock of Johns Island, S.C., Gail L. Curtis of Chesapeake, Va., and Carol A. Washington of Alpharetta, Ga.; nine grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.