November 18, 1952 - December 7, 2023


attachment-Tim Welna

Tim Welna went to be with the Lord on December 5th.

He was born to Marvin and Shirley Welna on November 18, 1952 in Minneapolis, MN, the 2nd oldest child out of five siblings. Tim graduated from Little Falls Senior High in 1971 and went on to get an Associate of Applied Sciences degree in Natural Resources Conservation at the University of Minnesota, Crookston, in 1974. From there, he studied Biblical Studies at Pillsbury Bible College from 1975-1977. Then he went to Central Theological Seminary in Minneapolis, MN from 1977 – 1978. He married the love of his life, Diane Pederson, on January 6th, 1978, in Minneapolis, MN. They moved to Duluth, MN where he went to the University of Minnesota for Pre-Engineering from 1978 – 1980. Tim’s first-born son Ben was born in Duluth in 1980. Then the family moved to Fargo, North Dakota in 1980 where he completed his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering. It was here that his daughter Katie was born in 1982. Tim joined the Air Force in 1983, and the family moved to Wurtsmith Air Force Base in Michigan. He received two letters of appreciation from two different commanders for his excellent workmanship, perseverance, and dedication. He was honorably discharged as a 1st Lieutenant in 1987. Tim then began his 30-year long career working for the Bureau of Land Management in Montana, where he built recreation and fishing access sites. Tim and his family settled down in Miles City, MT in 1987. His youngest son Luke was born in Miles City in 1994. Tim continued his career with the BLM, but moved with his family to Butte, MT in 1999, and then to Whitehall, MT in 2005, where he officially retired in 2012. During their time in Butte and Whitehall, he spent time at the Butte Rescue Mission, sharing the gospel with the homeless people who sheltered there. He was also passionate about ministering to individuals with brain injuries at a facility called Liberty Place in Whitehall, MT. In typical Tim fashion, he befriended them. He took them for rides, did Bible studies together, and just spent time with them. Tim and Diane sold their house in Whitehall in 2018 and traveled the country while they waited for their house in Hernando, Florida to be built. They moved to Hernando in April 2021, where they met many wonderful people. Tim really enjoyed all the fishing he could do in Florida, and Diane absolutely loved the climate.

Growing up, Tim is remembered by his siblings as being fun-loving, adventurous, fearless, and mischievous. He always loved fishing, and the outdoors was “his happy place.” Tim made friends everywhere he went. He could strike up a conversation with anyone, and he was the true epitome of the saying “he never met a stranger.” Tim was never one to sit still unless he had a good book about the Arctic or about the adventures of Lewis and Clark in his hand. He preferred to be outside exploring new places, fishing in his favorite spots, or meeting new people. He always had a good story to tell! Tim loved studying the Bible and had taught Sunday School in some of his former churches. Tim and his daughter Katie went on a mission trip to Mexico in 1999 where they helped build houses for families in need. In 2005 he spent some time in Hattiesburg, MS helping clean up the devastation left behind by Hurricane Katrina. In 2009, Tim traveled to Cameroon, Africa where he helped build clean water filtration systems for local villages. He went back to Africa in 2015 with his wife Diane on a special hunting safari in South Africa. Tim and Diane also became certified scuba divers together in their retirement years! They went to the Dominican Republic in 2019 where they helped a missionary couple build a house. While there, they put their scuba diving skills to use. They also went scuba diving at a lake in Minnesota while at a family reunion in 2019. Some things went wrong on this dive, and Diane nearly drowned. Tim was her hero and gave everything he had to save her until others could help. Recently, he had started playing chess against his sons online, which resulted in a healthy dose of teasing and banter. He was a patriot, a good friend, a teasing brother, a loving husband, a faithful son, an adventurous father, and a special grandfather. He loved God and his family.

He enjoyed his four grandchildren immensely. Hide and seek was a favorite with the kids, along with wrestling, tickling, shoulder rides, fishing, boating, and hiking. His oldest granddaughter Aria gave him the name Bapa when she was just a year old, and the name stuck. Tim was our beloved Bapa.
Tim Welna was preceded in death by his mother Shirley Welna, his nephew Jack Flavin, his Uncle Hilary Welna and Aunt Jean Welna, and his cousin John Welna.

He is survived by his wife Diane Welna; his son Ben (Kate) Welna, granddaughter Amari; his daughter Katie (Thomas) Burke, granddaughter Aria, grandson Emmanuel; his son Luke (Savannah) Welna, granddaughter Violet; his father Marvin Welna; his siblings John Welna, Barb (Shawn) Flavin, Nancy Welna, and Julie (Al) Miller; Uncle Louis (Judy) Welna; Uncle John (Edith) Rylander; Aunt Arlyce (Ken) Anderson; Aunt Joyce (Bob) Morris; numerous special nieces, nephews, and cousins.

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