Mrs. Donald Edward “Fran” Welton, nee Frances Kyle Holt, was born November 8, 1927, in Richmond, Virginia, to Mr. and Mrs. Taylor Holt Jr., of that city. She passed away at her home in Santa Barbara in the loving care of Cindy Perlis, Yancey Tomlinson and her staff on Friday, March 15, from complications of Parkinson’s disease.
Her early life was spent in Virginia, Tennessee, Maryland, Washington, California and Washington, D.C. She graduated from Piedmont High School in Piedmont, California, in 1945. She attended Pomona College in Claremont, California, and University of California at Berkeley, where she was a member of Alpha Delta Pi national sorority; she did additional art studies at Cal State Northridge.
From early childhood, she showed an interest and talent in drawing and watercolors, and later stained glass. She gifted her family and friends with many beautiful renditions of houses and family scenes she treasured. And they treasure these paintings, too. She will be remembered for her wit, keen sense of humor and for being an inspiration, in many different ways.
At Berkeley, she met and married Donald Edward Welton of Fullerton, California, a graduate student, in 1947. They lived in Azusa, West Covina, Woodland Hills and Hidden Hills, during which time she worked for NBC as a receptionist for Johnny Carson. In 1988, they moved to Santa Barbara, where she was active in the Republican Women’s Club and All Saints By-the-Sea Episcopal Church. Don Welton died in 2006.
They were the proud parents of Dr. David Welton (and wife Dr. Georgia Edwards) of Whidbey Island, Washington; Pamela Susan Welton (with Charles D. Hooper) of Culver City, California; Penelope Ann Welton of Dana Point, California; and Patricia Carol Welton (Mrs. William Haus) of Kula,Hawaii; and grandparents of Nathan Speary Welton (and wife Rannveig Aamodt) of Estes Park, Colorado, and Molde, Norway. Fran Welton is also survived by her sister, Jane Ruef (Rev. John Ruef), brother-in-law Gregory Welton and their children, and Verde Birdie, her much-beloved parrot.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, March 22, at Christ the King Episcopal Church, 5073 Hollister Ave. in Santa Barbara.
Arrangements are being handled through Welch-Ryce-Haider Funeral Chapels. Donations may be made in her memory to Christ the King Episcopal Church, Parkinson Association of Santa Barbara or the USC Multiple Sclerosis Comprehensive Care Center & Research Group at the Keck School of Medicine.