July 5, 1937 - January 22, 2022


attachment-Phil Welter

Philip Anthony Welter, 84, of St. Joseph MN, passed away on Saturday, January 22, 2022.

Philip Anthony Welter was born in Perham, Minnesota on July 5, 1937, to Agnes and Ambrose Welter. Phil spent his childhood in Perham with his parents, and his two sisters, Maureen and Kathleen. Phil grew up attending St. Henry’s Catholic High School proudly wearing the Perham High School’s “Yellowjacket” letterman’s jacket which he earned as an accomplished four-sport athlete.

After high school, Phil studied music at St. John’s University and in 1960 received his Master's Degree in music from Notre Dame. He then moved to St. Cloud to begin a lifetime career of teaching music, first at Cathedral High School. The rest of his career was spent as a professor of music at the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph where one of his prized activities was leading the Campus Singers. He deeply dedicated himself to not just being a professor, but an inspirational leader to countless students. It was a common occurrence for former students, many years after taking a class with Phil, to approach him in the community to say "hello" and "thank you".

On August 13, 1966, Phil married the love of his life, Katherine A. Welter, at Holy Angels Catholic Church in St. Cloud. Together they raised a family of four sons (Jason, Tony, Joel, and Colin) and a daughter, Shana. Phil and Katherine made their family home in St. Joseph, MN. Phil’s eye for adventure took his family on countless travels that ranged from car camping trips to semesters abroad in England and Ireland, to summers in the Bahamas. He was a lover of both eating and cooking cuisines from around the world, classical music, and theater.

Never a man to sit back and watch the world go by, Phil spent his life creating. He created the Minnesota Center Chorale, bringing choral music to countless musicians and audience members since 1973. He also was a co-founder of the Quite Light Opera Company which brought fun and creative community theater to the St. Cloud area for over 25 years. Phil was at the helm of the arts and education community for countless other artistic endeavors over the years. He worked tirelessly in service to his community as the 1993 founder of District 742’s Local Education Activities Foundation (LEAF), and prior to that as a district school board member. His mark on the arts and on education in the St. Cloud area is immeasurable.

All of this he did with a sparkle in his eye, a song on his breath, and a seemingly tireless work ethic. His all-in commitment to everything that he touched resulted in a life that was beautiful, impactful, inspirational, and deep in its reach. His family, friends, students, and community will long be affected by the legacy Phil created and this legacy will forever live in the soul of everyone he touched.

He is survived by his sisters, Maureen (David) and Kathleen Welter; children, Jason Welter (Kelli), Shana Holliday (Matt), Tony Welter (Becky), Joel Welter, and Colin Welter; and grandchildren, Mason and Ruby Holliday and Brodey and Kendal Welter. He was preceded in death by his wife, Katherine. A memorial celebration will be held at a later date.