Matthew Gene Welborn
Matthew Gene Welborn died on Nov. 10, at the age of 58. Born to Lula Pratt Welborn and Joseph Eugene (Gene) Welborn on Aug. 5, 1959, Matt was the fifth of six children. The family lived in the Ellis community and Matt attended Bronaugh schools.
Matt grew up in the construction industry, learning beside his father and brothers. After high school, Matt moved to Alaska for a year and upon returning to Missouri, he worked with his dad building houses. He became a master carpenter, creating many high-quality cabinets, homes and pieces of furniture. For family and for himself, he made small caskets (“arks”) for crematory ashes.
Working on the farm, Matt developed his natural mechanical talent which led him to a career in technology. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Missouri Southern State College in computer science and later studied project management. For 22 years, he successfully applied his skills in systems analysis, programming and technical authoring during a fast-changing technical evolution, and when networks evolved from proprietary systems to the public internet.
During his career, he lived in Webb City, Belton and Springfield, before moving back to the family farm in 2003.
Matt was an avid reader about the natural world. The land and climate were a never-ending source of interest for him, from the prairie meadows that drew in wildlife, to the powerful storms that swept across the Midwest.
Matt’s favorite “people” were four-legged, and throughout his life, he loved cuddling small creatures of all kinds. Yet a friend’s presence was always welcomed. Matt was there for others, cleaning up after a disaster or sometimes an old friend who just needed to go fishing.
He volunteered as water district board president and manager in his Belton neighborhood. And locally Matt served as president of the Welborn Cemetery board.
Matt was a strong-willed, independent man. Self-reliance often builds walls of isolation, walls that prevent us from accepting help from others. Depression and other mental health conditions are known to be difficult to overcome. Matt could generously offer a helping hand, but unfortunately, he was unable to grasp any hand offered to him.
Preceding Matt in death were his parents; niece, Amy Welborn; and many friends, including Bum, “the world’s greatest dog,” a lovable Labrador that angels once brought to his door.
Survivors include Matt’s son, Ben Welborn his wife Morgan and their children Skyler, Ella, Briar and stepdaughter, Brenli, of Stockton; stepson Seth Welborn and wife Jackie Bonneville, of Colorado Springs, Colo.; siblings and in-laws Joe and Elaine Welborn, of Stockton, Llewellyn and Leo Lutchansky, of Juneau, AK, Jim Welborn, of Everman, Texas, Mark and Zaree Welborn, of Las Vegas, Nev., and Laurie and Kevin Woolfolk, of Pierce City, Mo.; as well as many cousins, nephews and nieces.
On Saturday, Jan. 6, at 11 a.m., Matt’s family and friends will gather for a graveside service at the Welborn Cemetery, near Moundville. A reception will follow at America’s Best Value Inn in Nevada.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Welborn Cemetery, or take an elderly neighbor for a drive. Someday you will either say, “I wish I had” or “I’m glad I did.”