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In Memoriam

We are saddened to hear of the sad news of a passing. Our thoughts go out to the family, friends and classmates of our friend and early supporter.  While we are always sad to hear the news, if you would like to share a passing, please contact us via alumni@hkis.edu.hk


Robert (Bob) Welch

The following is an abridge of Jim Handrich’s Tribute to Bob Welch delivered at his Memorial Service on April 9, 2010

Happy Days:  Bob & Martha Welch


How fitting it is that we’ve gathered to celebrate Bob Welch’s life on this side of Easter. Bob fought the good fight, finished the race, and Bob always had a vision of hope and promise - which is what Easter is all about.

Bob and I worked together at Hong Kong International School where he was Middle School Principal and I was High School Principal. Besides being a superb administrative colleague, Bob was my sometimes tennis partner and together with Martha, always a good friend...

...Bob was a man of integrity, warmth and sincerity. He was a great supporter of teachers and I heard several personal stories of what that meant for individual teachers’ lives. Bob always believed in people and gave them opportunities to grow. Others reminded me to say how much Bob was dedicated to Middle School kids and to that community. Bob’s spiritual leadership was a strength as well.

We always started our weekly admin meetings in Hong Kong with a devotion that we all shared in leading. Using Scripture and the events of school life or the happenings in the world, Bob’s words were
encouraging, sometimes challenging, and always growthful for all of us. Bob’s leadership moved the middle school of HKIS to a new level of quality. We all only wished that his time with us had been longer.

Not only was Bob a superb educator, he was an amazing person. Of course, people wrote about Bob’s famous Manhattans. All of us know how Bob and Martha had a wonderful gift of hospitality – when you
were in their home in Hong Kong, you were part of the family.

After the cancer diagnosis had him return to the US, I saw even more of Bob’s quality as a person in his courage, positive attitude, and steadfast love for Mart and his engagement in all of life...

...During those 12 years of his living with cancer – at the bottom after his signature it always read – “Each day is a gift.” And what a blessing it was to his family and friends that we had twelve years worth
of those days of good gifts with Bob!

Jim Handrich


On a quiet afternoon in late April there was a small gathering at Peter and Cristy Dratz’s house to celebrate the memory of Bob Welch.

Jim Handrich brought a DVD of Bob’s California service which he shared as those present sipped one of Bob’s legendary Manhattans or some other beverage of choice. For many, it felt like we were in California with Martha, Steve King, and Bob’s extended family and friends. Nice camaraderie and great memories made for pleasant adieu to a man who touched us all so deeply.

Peter Dratz



Source:  DragonTales Summer Edition 2010