SLI members who know and love the beautiful pink Louisiana iris named 'Aunt Shirley' (Mertzweiller 90) will be saddened to learn that its namesake, Mrs. Shirley Caillet Welch of Little Elm, Texas died in March at the age of 99. Mrs. Welch was the sister of SLI founding member and leader Miss Marie Caillet.
Born July 8,1903, Mrs. Welch grew up on a farm, attended school and college in Texas, graduating in 1925 from what is now Texas Woman's University. She taught elementary grades before becoming a school principal in 1934. She retired in 1957, but she served as a substitute teacher in Little Elm until 1970. Her husband, Clyde Wright Welch, died in 1992.
In retirement Mrs. Welch lived in a charming home on the shore of Lewisville Lake near Little Elm, across the street from her sister, Marie. People touring her sister's famed garden often visited with "Aunt Shirley," as she was widely known.
In addition to Marie, another sister, Margaret Caillet Swann of Nashville, Tennessee, survives Mrs. Welch.