Obituary of Warren William Weldon
Warren William Weldon, our beloved husband, brother, dad, grandpa and friend has died peacefully and with grace on June 17, 2022, at home surrounded by love.
Heartbroken but holding him close in our memories are his wife Dorothy, his brother Jack, his sons, Greg (Cecilia) and Jason, his daughter Erin, and grandchildren, Arthur (Sipiwe), Isaac, Daniel, Sloane and Liv.
Born March 4, 1939 Warren was raised by his mother Alice Weldon (Dupas) in the West End. He cherished his French speaking mother, who provided for him the best way she knew how given her limited means and education. A humble upbringing, as they often do, led to a resilience and generosity of spirit in Warren that carried him through life. He often spoke of simple things such as a local bakery's cherry cheesecake as a major childhood highlight. A cake so special he literally walked ten miles through seven foot snow drifts to get. Over the years Warren's telling of this story seemed to have more miles and higher drifts and we will continue to tell it and add a mile and a foot every year.
He attended St. Mary's school, followed by St. Paul's High School with a final year at Daniel McIntyre Collegiate. His school years cultivated many friendships that lasted a lifetime and beyond. It was during this time that he developed a passion for music. It was also during his year at Daniel Mac that he met his future wife Dorothy, or should we say he saw her and thought she was an angel. She thought he was a strange, funny guy with red pants. They would meet again, years later at a party and the two of them began an inseparable life of love, family and adventure. Warren would often say Dorothy saved him from a party life with no meaning. We accept that she saved him from those red pants.
In 1959 Warren was hired by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) as a mail delivery boy. The human resources director was a lover of music and took a chance on him because Warren also shared a love of music and played saxophone in a local band. Warren briefly worked in accounting at CBC but quickly worked his way into the film department first as an assistant then as a film editor.
In 1968 the film department was in need of a cameraman and decided to rotate the film editors into that position to see if there was a talented fit. Warren was the first to rotate. He worked on a one hour documentary on the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi who rented the Chateau Lake Louise for his followers of transcendental meditation. After the film shoot, the rotation never occurred and Warren became the new assistant film cameraman. Warren worked on many documentaries, dramas, network shows and award-winning pieces as a lead cameraman. Some familiar names of network shows he worked on were 24 Hours, Points West, Country Canada and Sesame Street. He travelled throughout the world filming and telling stories with a spirit of adventure and curiosity. His final shoot led him to Ethiopia after which he retired early at the ripe old age of 54.
During his early years at CBC, Warren also played saxophone in a local band called Roy Mickey and the Downbeats. They played many gigs at community clubs and local venues for five dollars a show in the 1960s. His bandmate, Fred Turner went on to form Bachman Turner Overdrive. In 1963, the frontman retired and the band transformed into The Many Others. The Many Others toured to many venues and were a staple at a local venue called The Hungry Eye.
Music took a bit of a hiatus for Warren but in the 1990s his former drummer Ed invited him to join a band called Jimmy G and the Doo Wops. They played shows in Regina and Winnipeg where crowds swing danced and revelled in the nostalgic music of his youth. The band was eventually renamed The Twilights and they continued playing local venues and outdoor events. Warren hung up his saxophone at the age of 78. He often said he wasn't a very good musician, that he really only worked hard at it. Having seen him play we beg to differ.
Retiring at 54 allowed Warren the time to focus on all of his loves: his beautiful wife, his children and eventually grandchildren, his cottage at Falcon Lake, his house by the river, his music, photography, filmography and travel. He and Dorothy travelled to 35 countries including Thailand, Turkey, Egypt, Israel, China, Cambodia, Greece and Italy. Warren could never leave his documentary days behind and found himself interviewing people everywhere he went on all of his travels. His videos of his travels are legendary. With Dorothy as the star of his show, he told stories through film of all of his travels and in fact every moment of his family's life. We look forward to many a movie night listening to his edited, narrated videos whose stories will transport us to him.
Warren was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2020. He faced the journey with the same resilience, work ethic and generosity of spirit he had acquired throughout his life. He truly loved people and no one was a stranger in his presence even when he was sick. He engaged everyone in his big energy, his story telling and his positivity. His end of life was no different. He was his authentic self, right until the very last moment.
We are devastated to be separated from him but we celebrated his life as he planned it. He chose his readings, his music, the food and everything and anything you could imagine for his service.
Extra special thanks to Dr. Craig Harlos who truly listened, went the extra mile and gave him some extra time on this planet and to Sean Roe, his palliative nurse who carried us all to the end with him.