Tricia Welton received some sound advice when she was a young woman.
“My dad said, ‘You better marry a man that cooks because you can’t cook’,” Welton recalled.
She said she found a cook and so much more in Tom Welton, her husband of 40 years.
Tom Welton, the former owner of the upscale eateries TW’s in Miamisburg and Welton’s Restaurant in Kettering, died Thursday at Hospice of Dayton after a two-and-a-half-year battle with mesothelioma.
“He said he was not going to give up,” Tricia said. “He fought the fight, but at the end it got him.”
The graduate of Miamisburg High School and the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., was 66.
Funeral arrangements are being made. Tricia said there will be a dinner at
Benham's Grove, just like Tom wanted.
Tom Welton grew up in the restaurant business.
His folks, Harley and Velma Welton, owned the Har-Vel Restaurant for more than 20 years.
Tom was a chef at the Meadowbrook Country Club before becoming executive chef at the Moraine Country Club.
He also worked part time with Dieter Krug, owner of The Inn, which later became L’Auberge.
Tom and Tricia opened TW’s Restaurant in Miamisburg in 1983 after extensive remodeling. They did much of the work themselves.
The Spring Valley residents sold that restaurant in 1991 and later opened Welton’s Restaurant.
They closed the restaurant to focus on catering in 2005.
“He wanted a fine dining restaurant,” Tricia said, noting that her husband was telling people how to cook until a few days before his death.
Welton said she has received an outpouring of love from friends and former employees.
“I can’t believe how upset they are, these men,” she said. “It’s hard to see grown men cry.”
Tricia said her husband was always willing to give people a chance.
“He was real compassionate,” she said. “He loved his animals. Loved his family. He would help anybody. Sometimes I would volunteer him too much.”
That love of animals extended to birds, dogs and even a scraggly looking cat Tom once kept in the garage.
“I got the electricity bill and I said we could have sent that cat to the Hilton,” Tricia said.
Aside from his wife and mother, Tom Welton, described as an avid Dayton Daily News reader, is survived by his son and daughter-in-law, Andy and Rosemary Welton, and three grandchildren, Henry, Norah and Edie.
Tricia said she and her staff will continue the catering business.
“I want to carry on for Tom,” she said.
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