URBANA – William “Bill” J. Welbes, 69, from Urbana passed away on Sunday August 22, 2021 at the Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana after a brief illness.
He was born on September 29, 1951 in Chicago to William F. Welbes and Mary Price Welbes. He grew up in Indiana, developed his lifelong love of baseball, and graduated from Gavit High School in Hammond, Indiana. He attended Missouri Valley College on a baseball scholarship, was a member of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity, and earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration. in 1973.
Bill has enjoyed a rewarding career in the hospitality industry, both in sales and management. He was a co-owner of Urbana establishments including Main Street Eatery, Shamrock Tavern and BC’s Bar and Grill.
He was a member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church and the Urbana Business Association, and past president of the Urbana Lions Club and Urbana High School Baseball Boosters. In his spare time he enjoyed playing basketball, softball, bowling, and golf.
In 1999, he married Beth Chamberlain Welbes, and they happily welcomed their son, Jacob, in 2001. Bill then found his true calling in life: to be an amazing dad.
They shared a special and everlasting bond. Bill showed and expressed his love for Jake on a daily basis, even after he left home for college. Both loved Illini sports and Chicago sports teams, with a particular passion for the White Sox.
Bill was a dedicated coach, volunteer and supporter of Jake’s baseball teams over the years, and made a difference in the lives of so many young people that he strongly encouraged, hugged and supported on and off the field. .
Bill lived his life with his particular enthusiasm. You always knew when Bill was in the room with his jovial voice and laughter and often a friendly arm around your shoulder or a warm pat on the back. Faith, family and friends brought such joy into her life.
Bill was welcomed to heaven by his father, William F. Welbes, and his wife Beth will be remembered forever; son, Jacob; mother, Mary Welbes; sister, Marge (Bill) Bellis; brother, Bob (Sherry) Welbes; brother-in-law, Frank Chamberlain; sister-in-law, Ellen (Charlie) Chamberlain Warmbrunn; nephews, Scott Bellis, Matthew Call, Samuel Call and Matthew Welbes; great-niece, Lizzie; and his four-legged “little girl” Emma, in addition to a large circle of friends.
A Memorial Mass will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, September 4, 2021 at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Urbana, with a tour starting at 9 a.m. Masks are recommended at this time. Once the pandemic restrictions are lifted, we will come together to celebrate his life and memories at a future date to be determined.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Champaign County Humane Society. Condolences can be presented on renner-wikoffchapel.com.