Saying Goodbye to an Industry Pioneer

William “Bill” Welcher, 79, of Kingwood, Texas, passed away over the weekend. Many in the lube industry will remember Welcher as a pioneer in the fast lube industry and Penn 10.

Welcher worked his entire career in the petroleum industry, beginning as a clerk at a retail location operated by Elk Refining Company, which would later be purchased by Pennzoil Products Company. During his 46-year career with Pennzoil, he led various operating divisions of Pennzoil in both the fuels and lubricants business segments. He lived and worked in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Cleveland, Ohio, and ultimately Houston, Texas. He was instrumental in conceptualizing and developing the fast lube industry, and was honored as one of its most influential people. He retired from Pennzoil in 1996 as group vice president of the Pennzoil Products Company, as well as a member of its operating committee.

Services will be held May 31 in Charleston, West Virginia. 

Welcher’s full obituary can be found in the Charleston Gazette.

About National Oil & Lube News

National Oil & Lube News is the fast oil change industry's oldest and largest trade publication. Started in 1986 by Steve Hurt (a former fast lube owner) and David Arrington, NOLN has grown and evolved right alongside the fast lube industry. Here at NOLN, our aim is to help fast lube operators with every facet of their business, from operations to technical issues. Our monthly magazine and this regularly updated website contain everything from technical tips, recall announcements and service guides to articles on handling customer complaints, building your brand and making your business the best it can be. With tips and advice from experts both inside and outside the industry, you're sure to learn something that can help your fast lube business grow and prosper.
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2 Responses to Saying Goodbye to an Industry Pioneer

  1. Bill Bandy says:

    Bill Welcher was an incredible, hard driving, effective executive, who appreciated each and every Pennzoil customer, and made sure he let them know it. I had the distinct pleasure of knowing Bill well, and working with him for many of my years in the quicklube business, beginning in the late 70’s. To say he was a pioneer is an understatement. Bill knew the value of the quicklube industry to the oil companies, and he worked hard to promote our industry. Bill was an honest guy, that loved to have a good time, and show the same to his customers. The day Bill left Pennzoil, the company lost much of the integrity and customer service Pennzoil was built on in the early years.
    God Bless Bill, and his family. He will surely be missed by many.

  2. Working with Mr. Welcher, I knew his great capabilities…a leader…teacher…a visionary. Few can say they achieved what he acommplished. He viewed the Lube Center Industry as a ‘gold mine’ in the late 1970’s. Few had any idea what he was talking about….they soon learned his visions. God bless Mr. Welcher. I’ll miss him.

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