Donnie Gene Welch, age 75, of Osage Beach, Missouri left this life October 16th, 2018 at University of Missouri Hospital, Columbia, Missouri due to complications from surgery.

He was born January 7, 1943 in Lebanon Missouri, the only child of Arnold and Winna Mae (Medley) Welch.

When Don was 6, his parents moved to Lake Ozark to operate Mountain Terrace Motel on the strip. There he enjoyed an old-fashioned Ozarks childhood where little boys hunted squirrels, spear fished, and water skied. On October 15th, 1959, at the age of 16, Don had a car wreck that left him a quadriplegic. It was that night he took his first ride in a hearse with Mr. Hedges to Barnes Hospital in St. Louis since there were no ambulances in this area. There the doctors told him he would live 2 weeks. He went on to live 59 years and one day before taking his last ride from Mr. Hedges. And live he did. Don was a proud alumnus of School of the Osage, got his accounting degree from MU, and owned and operated the Quail’s Nest Motel for 40 plus years. In between, he had an accounting business, helped develop a condo project, learned to make web pages, and was involved with many civic organizations: serving on boards for the City of Osage Beach, the Chamber of Commerce, the Convention & Visitors Bureau, and Lodging Association. He was particularly interested in promoting Lake of the Ozarks tourism and always believed that the success of all the other businesses in the area would insure his own.

He often spoke of the generosity of the lake community in helping him to achieve all that he did. From his classmates carrying him up and down the stairs at school, to the donations of food and care taking in his leaner years, Don believed the people in the lake area had been kind to him.

Don leaves behind his wife Maggie Schaffer who is grateful for the 25 years they shared, a cousin Beverly Willard of Isla Mujeres Mexico, many Schaffer In-Laws, and nieces and nephews. A special thanks for the care & support he got from friends Cindy Hutzler, Charlene Luttrell, Jyll Green, & Sarah Goodwin. Also, thanks to the nurses at University Hospital, especially Angela, that cared for him during his last days with us. The family will welcome friends for a visitation on Monday, October 22, 2018 from 4:00-6:00 p.m. at Hedges-Scott Funeral Home, Osage Beach, Missouri.

In lieu of flowers, just do what Don would do. No matter what, get up and go on. Expressions of sympathy may be shared online at www.hedgessocttfuneralhomes.com

Arrangements have been placed in the care of Hedges-Scott Funeral Home, Osage Beach, Missouri.