Geneva Ruth Elkins also well-known as Ja-Neen Welch, 81, of Bainbridge died Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2008 at her residence surrounded by her loved ones.
Ja-Neen was born Aug. 1, 1927, in Blackberry City, W.V, the daughter of Alvin and Myrtle Elkins.
On Sept. 16, 1946, she married Charles E. Welch (Gene).
She was a member of New Maysville Community Church.
Ja-Neen's first love was music and drama class and being an avid reader of books, she chose her first job to be reading to blind children evenings while working at the Wurlitzer Piano Company during the day.
Her career began as Miss Cincinnati in the Miss America contest, then she went on to modeling, movie stardom and television commercials.
She was a lifetime devout Democrat and active in Democrat politics nationally. She loved auto racing and became the first, Miss Hurst Performance Floor Shift model.
She was a singer and songwriter and had a recording published titled, "George."
She was also locally well-known among the antique and collectibles community as a reputable dealer, having operated her own store for many years.
Her proudest accomplishment was raising five children.
Survivors include five children, Venus Vaughn (Paul), Cherie Miller (Ron), Michael Welch (Holly), Patrick Welch (Lynda), Ted Welch (Lea), all in Indianapolis with Cherie and Ron in Frankton; her sister Dolores Singer (Ray) in Cincinnati; and many cherished nieces, nephews, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
The family would especially like to thank William R. Echard (Bill), who was her lifelong friend, was devoted to her and will forever be a part of her family.
She was preceded in death by her parents Alvin and Myrtle Elkins and her children's father Gene Welch.
Services will be held at 10 a.m. Monday at Conkle Funeral Home in Avon, with the Rev. Frank Bunn of New Maysville Community Church officiating. Calling will be from 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday.
Burial will be in Park Cemetery in Fairmount.
Memorial contributions may be made to Day by Day Hospice, 1668 East Main Street, Danville, IN 46122.