Tom Welle, Longtime Bemidji Community Leader, Passes Away at 71
Tom Welle, a longtime community leader in Bemidji, has passed away Thursday, December 9th at the age of 71 after a long battle with prostate cancer.
Welle served as president at First National Bank Bemidji for 30 years beginning in 1988 and as chairman of the board until his passing. Working alongside his cousins Paul and Hugh Welle, the bank experienced consistent growth and was recognized nationally within the industry for its financial performance.
Welle also served on numerous non-profit boards and service-based organizations, including the Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce, North Country Memorial Hospital, and the BSU Alumni and Foundation, as well as Lakeland PBS. He was a Paul Harris Fellow Rotarian and a 4th Degree Knights of Columbus.
Welle is survived by his wife of nearly 50 years, Paulette, as well as his children Scott Welle, Rebecca Bentfield, and Ryan Welle, along with many other relatives.
Memorial mass for Tom Welle will be at 11 AM this Thursday at St. Philip’s Catholic Church in Bemidji. Visitation will be 5-7 PM Wednesday at Olson-Schwartz Funeral Home and one hour prior to services at the church. In lieu of lowers, memorials are preferred to a local service organization or non-profit of your choosing.
Later this week, Lakeland News will take a closer look at the legacy of Tom Welle and will hear from those who knew him best.