Notable Neighbors: Welch motivated to make a difference

William R. Toler | Daily Journal Jacqueline Welch, executive director of the Rockingham Senior Center, smiles as she talks about her musical interests, which range from Metallica to “The Sound of Music.”

ROCKINGHAM — Jacqueline Braddock Welch is a young woman who has overcome challenges and tragedy, from the devastating loss of her grandmother to fighting and winning her own personal battles.

Welch is the executive director at the Rockingham Senior Center at 225 S. Lawrence St., and also oversees operations at the East Rockingham Senior Center and the Ellerbe Senior Center. She says her job keeps her busy, but she wouldn’t change a thing. She’s still just as satisfied and happy as she was when she first chose the career nine years ago.

Welch had a special relationship with her grandmother, Bernice Braddock, who taught her something that would become her motto in life.

“Granny would always say ‘Pretty is as pretty does,’” Welch recalled. “For the longest time I couldn’t understand why she kept telling me that, then one day it just dawned on me.”

The old-fashioned proverb has more than one meaning, but to Welch, it means treating people the way she would want them to treat her regardless of their exterior.

Welch is admittedly a country girl through and through, and as Southern as sweet iced tea. She appreciates the importance of family, and says her values and convictions helped mold her into the strong and capable woman she is today.

Welch strives to meet life and work head-on with determination and unfaltering confidence. She believes maintaining a positive attitude is powerful.

NAME: Jacqueline Braddock Welch

AGE: 32

BIRTHPLACE: Rockingham

HOMETOWN: Currently lives in Ellerbe but grew up in Rockingham

EDUCATION: “I graduated from Richmond Senior High School in 2001, and then I got my associate’s degree in business.”

CAREER: “I’ve been working for Richmond County government and Department of Aging for nine years.”

FAMILY: “I just celebrated two years with my husband. We got married in April of 2013.”


“I operate and organize the Meals on Wheels program that feeds senior citizens who may not be able to go to the grocery store, offer to clean their homes to keep seniors there as long as possible and counsel seniors on available prescription plans when open enrollment comes around. All of our programs are free.”


“To get up, enjoy each day, embrace what happens and be happy. I am motivated by my passion for living and what I want to achieve in life. My job is also motivating. I leave at the end of the day knowing I helped someone. I have a very touching job. Everyone’s story is different. The most important thing is working with family to figure out what’s best for a loved one.”


“The day I married my husband, Sterling Welch III.”


“My grandmother. She taught me so much, from cooking to planting a garden. I can remember when my granny used to make me homemade tortillas and sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on them as an after-school treat. Her death changed me forever. She died in a house fire in 2010, and it was heartbreaking for me. Her death did allow me to help others. It raised my awareness about the importance of working smoke alarms. I remind seniors every spring and fall to check their alarms.”


“I enjoy spending time with my animals. I have a small farm with cows, goats, donkeys and chickens, two dogs named Thurmond and Sarge and two cats named Clementine and Biscuits. I also like sitting on my back porch looking out at the pasture and listening to music. I’m a big Metallica fan, which most people would never guess. I still have the receipt from when I purchased concert tickets, and I listen to their albums in my car. I also love ‘The Sound of Music.’”


“One day I would like to have a family. I would like to travel to places I’ve never been, like Niagara Falls and the Redwood Forest. ”

Notable Neighbors is a series of personality profiles featuring Richmond County residents from all walks of life. Stories will appear in the Daily Journal on Thursdays and online at To nominate a Notable Neighbor, email Corey Friedman at [email protected]