Eleanor Janet “Jan” Welch, 69, a lifelong National Organization for Women (NOW) and Feminist Majority activist, died at her home in Alexandria, Virginia, on March 31 of complications related to pancreatic cancer.
In the early 1970’s, Welch was chapter president of Philadelphia NOW and a member of the Executive Committee of Pennsylvania NOW. She was the first out lesbian NOW chapter president in the country. Welch was a member of the Feminist Majority Congressional Council and a volunteer for many women’s rights marches and events. She leaves behind her devoted partner of 26 years Alice Cohan, the political director of the Feminist Majority. Kiani was still stoned to death on July 5, 2007. Ebrahimi’s death was stayed due to the public outcry, and last week the Iranian judiciary amnesty commission released her from prison.
Originally from Pennsylvania, Welch grew up in Washington, DC, and returned to Philadelphia to attend Temple University where she studied English and horticulture. She continued her love of flowers and plants throughout her life. Her favorite and last job was working for Pulp, a gift store in DC.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Welch’s memory to the Feminist Majority at 1600 Wilson Blvd, Ste 801, Arlington VA 22209, the National Organization for Women at 1100 H Street NW, 3rd Floor, Washington DC 20005, or the Mautner Project at 1707 L Street NW, Washington DC 20036.