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Ronald Welwood

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Ronald Joseph Adrian Welwood

Date of Death: November 21, 2021


Ronald Joseph Adrian Welwood was born in Penticton in 1940, raised in Port Alberni, but leaves his heart and legacy in his adopted Home of Nelson, BC.

Ron was the eldest child of Roy and Alice (Bonthoux) Welwood of Port Alberni and Chilliwack. He is survived and deeply missed by his 105-year-old mother (that’s right, 105 years!), brother Kenneth (Pamela), and two Nelson-born sons, Gregory (Tracy Mah), and Michael “Ed” (Karen), and his precious granddaughter, Meela.

Ron shared his enormous interest and knowledge of Kootenaiana (a term he created) with his wife of 55 years, Frances (nee Clay). Together they “discovered” Nelson in August of 1969 when Ron left the National Library of Canada in Ottawa to become the Librarian of Notre Dame University of Nelson. Despite the demise of NDU, Ron remained on Campus as Librarian at David Thompson University Centre, then as Librarian at Selkirk College Castlegar until his retirement in 2000.

His enthusiasm for Kootenay life and culture soon identified Ron as a Kootenay voice within the 100-year-old B. C. Historical Federation (of which he served two terms as Chairman). Ron assembled the Kootenaiana Collection of volumes and documents that is the basis of West Kootenay research and history.

He received many awards for his historical writing and was co-founder of an eclectic band of history buffs – Kootenay History Interest Group. ‘The Friends of B.C. Archives’, ‘Communities in Bloom’, ‘Heritage Walking, Motoring and Cemetery Tour’ Brochures, Archivist for the Roman Catholic Archives of Nelson, singing basso with the ‘Heritage Harmonies Chorus’, skiing at Whitewater, and digging in his mountain-side garden further occupied his “Kootenay Time”.

In January 2019, Ron and Frances were granted a Special Citation by the City of Nelson in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the preservation and promotion of the City’s cultural heritage.


Donations in Ron’s memory might be given to the Nelson Osprey Foundation or Touchstones Nelson.


“A young man’s dreams fulfilled with skill, love, loyalty, and hope.”


A funeral and celebration of Ron’s life and legacy will be held at a future time.


Send a condolence, light a candle and/or share a memory, click "Send Condolence". Once your message has been approved by the moderator it will be posted to the website.

Pages: 123

From: Thompson Funeral Services Ltd.

Thompson Funeral Service Staff send our condolences to family and friends.

From: Alison Hutchison
Relation: Acquaintance and friend

Frances and family. I was saddened to hear of Ron’s passing. I count myself lucky that I knew him a bit. Please accept my condolences at this sad time.

From: David Brackett
Relation: Friend and neighbour

I was saddened to hear of Ron’s passing. Ron and Frances were great neighbours for the years I spent on Ridgewood. Ron was the first to welcome us to our new home, even before the official Welcome Wagon visit from Frances. His enthusiasm and encyclopedic knowledge of all things Kootenay will be missed.

From: Helen Moore
Relation: Colleague at Selkirk & a friend

I am so sorry to hear of Ron’s passing. I enjoyed many years working with him at Selkirk College. He was a friend and a wonderful support to me .

From: Barbara Brych
Relation: Neighbor and friend.

in 2007 Ron and Frances welcomed Mom and I to the neighborhood and into their home for Christmas dinner every Dec. 25th where we celebrated with other lovely friends of theirs. COVID strained this special tradition December 2020. I will always remember Ron wearing his Santa hat and Christmas apron while he merrily carved the turkey. Laugher as well as Greg and Ed’s running stories fill the air from the large, extended table of friends and family. Frances the gracious host ensures everyone feels welcome and later serves us the best Christmas trifle anyone had ever tasted. You are such a lovely family and while Mom and I will miss Ron so very much, we are so happy to have you all in our lives and thank you for such lovely Christmas memories. We will miss you Ron. You are one of the best people I ever met.

From: Dan Davies Brackett
Relation: friend

My life in Nelson was richer for knowing Ron, and it’s poorer now for his passing.

I’ll miss him.

From: Ida and Terry Hanson
Relation: He was a friend, a church member and neighbor.

Our deepest sympathy 🙏 to Frances and family. Ron was a person who committed fully to life. He will be missed by us all ❤❤.

From: Sheila Bradley
Relation: friend

Frances and “boys” – Ron was one-of-a-kind – Murray and I already miss him. He was a going concern – many of us enjoyed his shout-outs, whether they were news items he felt strongly about (and was perhaps afraid that we weren’t sufficiently worked up about), news about what Greg and Mike/Ed – or you – had done that he was proud of, library news that all us retired librarians should be on top of (even in retirement), or jokes that were too good to keep to himself. He was what may have gone out of fashion – a Good Man – but what the world desperately needs more of. It was always a treat when we got word that you were going to be in Ottawa, or later, Victoria, and we could share good times with you. Rest in peace, old friend.

From: Judith and Trent Reid
Relation: old friends

We first met Ron in 1966 when he joined the staff of the National Library and remained in contact with him and Frances over the many subsequent years, via visits, road trips and correspondence (e-mail and phone) We enjoyed his sense of humour and we will miss his regular e-mails featuring jokes, historical and local (Nelson) references and memories of joint activities. We were very pleased that Ron accomplished so much in historical writing and in the cultural life of his community; much of it hand in hand with Frances.
Frances and Family, our love and thoughts are with you.

From: Mim (Welwood) Friesen
Relation: Cousin

I am so sorry to hear of Ron’s passing. My deepest sympathies to Frances and the family. My prayers will be with you.

Pages: 123

Service Schedule

  Service Date To Be Determined

Date & Time:
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A funeral and celebration of Ron’s life and legacy will be held at a future time.

Memorial Gifts

Donations in Ron’s memory might be given to the Nelson Osprey Foundation or Touchstones Nelson.

Thank You Notice

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