Welcome to the memorial page for

Mabel Welch Sterling

May 1, 1918 ~ October 3, 2017 (age 99)

Obituary Image

Mabel Welch Sterling, 99, died Tuesday, October 3, 2017 at home in Stuarts Draft.

She was born in Philadelphia to Edwin Alexander and Mary Kelly Welch, the second of three children.  Her brothers William Allison Welch and Edwin Alexander Welch predeceased her.

Sterling learned Spanish at a young age when her family lived in Argentina, where her father worked with Baldwin Locomotive.

A lover of all the arts, she worked as an usher at a hometown theater while attending West Philadelphia High School where she graduated.

Sterling joined the Women’s Auxiliary Army Corp during World War II to see the world.  Soon after, the WAAC was renamed the Women’s Army Corp or WAC.  Her mother affectionately called her “Wacky Welch.”  Serving as a sergeant, she was stationed in Australia, Hollandia and the Philippines.  She liked to say she fought the war with her typewriter.

Earning a “ruptured duck” at war's end, Sterling returned home to work with Veterans Affairs.

After being called back for the Korean War, she met her husband Robert Maytum Sterling, who was a captain at Fort Lee.  She left the service to join him in Okinawa, Germany and Utah where their two sons William Welch Sterling and Keith Edwin Sterling were born.

After her husband died, Sterling worked for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in Philadelphia until her retirement in 1978, when she moved to Oldsmar, Fla. 

Adding to the list of countries traveled, she visited China, Australia, New Zealand, Scandinavia, the Panama Canal, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, Zimbabwe and South Africa to name a few.

For the past 14 years, she has lived in Virginia with her son Keith Sterling.

Survivors are sons William Sterling and his wife Debbie of Westerville, Ohio; Keith Sterling and his wife Shannon of Stuarts Draft, Va.; and multiple grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends from 4:00pm to 5:00pm at Charlton and Groome Funeral Home, 619 Lifecore Drive, Fishersville, VA 22939 on October 7, 2018 and where a funeral service will be held 5:00pm in the chapel.

Interment will be private.

The family would like to extend their sincere appreciation to Hospice of Shenandoah for their compassion and care.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions to Hospice of Shenandoah, P.O. Box 215, Fishersville, VA 22939.

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Charitable donations may be made to:

Hospice of the Shenandoah C/O Augusta Health Foundation
P. O. Box 1000, Fishersville VA 22939

 Service Information

The family will receive friends
October 7, 2017

4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Charlton and Groome Funeral Home
619 Lifecore Drive
Fishersville, VA 22939

Funeral Service
October 7, 2017

5:00 PM
Chapel of Charlton and Groome Funeral Home
619 Lifecore Drive
Fishersville, VA 22939

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