It is with deep regret that the Miss Oklahoma Scholarship Organization announced the death of its beloved Chairman-Emeritus, Charlie Welch.Charlie took over the Miss Oklahoma Pageant in 1972 when it had less than 20 local pageants and a scholarship program amounting to $2,500. He immediately grew the Miss Oklahoma Organization into one of the largest and most successful programs in the country. During his tenure, the program made available over $65 million in cash and college scholarships to some of Oklahoma’s most outstanding young women. In addition, the Miss Oklahoma Pageant has produced a total of six Miss Americas – Five of those while Charlie were involved with the organization.The Miss America Organization recognized Charlie’s contributions and in 2003 awarded him its most prestigious award by inducting him into the Miss America Academy of Honor. The award came with a $10,000 contribution to the Miss Oklahoma Scholarship fund.The Miss Oklahoma Pageant was Charlie’s hobby. While most of his peers spent time on the golf course, Charlie spent his time raising scholarships for deserving young women who may have otherwise never had the opportunity to attend college. His joy was found not in the state titleholders, but in the changed lives of those who competed.Funeral arrangements are set for Wednesday, November 11, 2009 – 2:00 p.m. at New Haven United Methodist Church, 5603 S. New Haven – Tulsa, OK. Burial will be a private service held prior to the memorial service. The funeral is under the direction of Moore Southlawn Funeral Home – 9350 East 51st Tulsa, OK 74145 (918-663-2233).A special scholarship has been set up in Charlie’s honor. Donations may be made to the Tulsa Kiwanis Foundation – Miss Oklahoma Fund, 3211 South Lakewood,Tulsa, OK 74135.
November 9, 2009