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Roger Anthony Welchans

February 24, 1929 — September 19, 2023

Cleveland, OH

Roger Anthony Welchans

Roger A. Welchans, 94, longtime resident of Cleveland Heights, passed away peacefully on September 19, 2023. Born in Chicago to Richard Welchans and Margaret (Kelly) Welchans, Roger studied Fine Arts at University of Illinois (BFA), University of Colorado (MFA) and Case Western Reserve University (Ph.D.) on his path to a career as Professor of Art History at John Carroll University. After 40+ years at JCU, Roger retired and returned to painting every day for 25 years at his studio in Little Italy.

Roger was a Korean War-era veteran who served in Army counterintelligence. He met Nancy Witherspoon at a party in Washington (DC) in 1954 and they were married the next year in Frankfurt, Germany, where Roger was stationed. They returned to the US in 1956 and lived in Boulder (CO) and Natchitoches (LA) before moving to Cleveland Heights in 1962 for Roger’s new curatorial position at the Cleveland Museum of Art. He became an Assistant Professor of Art History at JCU in 1964, progressing to Full Professor and longtime Department Chair until retiring in 1995. Dr. Welchans published extensively in academic journals and formed many lasting relationships with students whose lives he touched. After retirement, he published biographies of prominent Cleveland artists and completed a comprehensive study of Cleveland-area churches.

Roger is survived by his children Ann (Jodi) of Charlotte, NC, Tom (Stephanie) of Jacksonville, FL, Paul (Jennifer) of Wyckoff, NJ, daughter-in-law Michele of Cleveland, grandchildren and great grandchildren. He was predeceased by his wife, Nancy S. Welchans, and son, Anthony J. Welchans.

In lieu of flowers, donations are suggested to the Artists Archives of the Western Reserve (https://www.artistsarchives.org), Cleveland Museum of Art (https://www.clevelandart.org), John Carroll University Carroll Fund (https://carrollfund.jcu.edu) and Alzheimer's Association (https://www.alz.org/cleveland).

Private family service.

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