Joseph Raymond Welch, age 48, of Corning, NY died unexpectedly Sunday, November 8, 2020. He was born April 3, 1972 in Corning and is survived by parents, George and Elizabeth (Amisano) Welch; brother, George (Stephanie) Welch, Jr. of Corning; nephews, George-John Welch III (his godson) and Andrew Saxton Welch; niece, Caroline Elizabeth Welch; numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins. Family, service, friendship, and charity were the hallmarks of this great man. He was a scholar and a gentleman who, despite great challenges, made an indelible mark on his community. Joe attended Corning East High, Cornell University, Syracuse University and Western New England School of Law. Always a standout student, he received many accolades along the way. Following his passion for politics, he accepted an appointment as Steuben County Democratic Party Election Commissioner in 2010. It was shortly thereafter serious health concerns surfaced that forced him from his dream job. Despite declining health Joe remained determined to contribute to his community. He was the bedrock of the Corning City Democratic Party for over 20 years. He was appointed chairman in 2011 and worked part-time on every local, state, and national campaign that included this past election. He was named to the Executive Committee of New York's Democratic Party, where he chaired legislative and election committees. Those in the state Democratic party held him in high esteem for his election law knowledge. He was recently honored to be named a Biden delegate after New York's presidential primary. His engaging pied piper personality made him a political force. Joe was a natural leader. At Cornell he was president of the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity. After college he served as president of the Cornell Star & Crescent Foundation, a not-for-profit company that raised money for the fraternity house (more like a castle) preservation and local Ithaca charities. His contributions to the City of Corning were many. Joe was a valued member of community projects and initiatives including Option 2 and TedX Chemung River. He was effective because he knew and had the respect of community leaders. He had a great mind for remembering names. His wit and charm made him a natural in these settings. All the above pales in comparison to his friendships. His Facebook account is a testament to the many and eclectic friendships he formed wherever he went. In high school Joe was universally beloved and accepted by "A" students, athletes, and everyone else. He was a man about town, known to everyone and often referred to as the Mayor of Market Street. He brought people together from varying backgrounds, interests, likes and needs. Being with Joe was a fun and informative experience. He possessed a vast array of knowledge and was always "the guy" you wanted on your trivia team. Obscure topics fascinated him, and he delighted many with dazzling displays of knowledge and his unique ability to use a random fact or theory tailor made for the occasion. Though a passionate Democrat, he was at ease arguing both sides of political and constitutional topics. He made you think. There was also a fully equipped band set up in his house for visits from high school friends, Dave Brown, Jason Jobe, and Andrew St. Laurent. He could play most any instrument or song by ear and wowed many with impromptu piano concerts after hours. He was a modern-day renaissance man with many, many friends. Family was also a hallmark. He made time for his niece and nephews and showered them with meaningful gifts and advice. He was "Uncle Joe, the greatest Uncle we know" according to a refrain he taught them. Family also meant food and Joe was passionate about the combination. A "mama-made" pasta sauce from scratch with the perfect bottle of red and lively discussion with extended family was a favorite weekend retreat. He lived life on his terms, despite great challenges, that he seldom mentioned and about which he never complained. He will be missed by friends and family everywhere, but never forgotten. Calling hours will be Sunday, November 15th from 2-6 PM at Haughey Funeral Home, Inc., 216 E. First Street in Corning. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Monday, November 16th, at 9:30 AM at St. Mary's Church, 155 State Street in Corning with Father Matthew Jones officiating. Burial will be in St. Mary's Cemetery in Corning. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Joseph R. Welch scholarship fund through the Community Foundation of Elmira-Corning and the Finger Lakes, Inc., 301 S. Main St., Horseheads, NY 14845 or online at www.communityfund.org, for a high school graduate planning to attend college with a passion for politics and community. Joe's family entrusted his care to Haughey Funeral Home, Inc.