John Ward Welna

ATLANTA, GA: It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved son and brother, John Ward Welna, on June 1, 2023.

John was born to Louis and Judy (Ward) Welna on June 2, 1975, in Burlington, Vermont.

He grew up in Georgia, Vermont, and graduated from Bellows Free Academy in St. Albans in 1993. He attended Castleton State College and graduated from the University of Vermont in 1997 with a B.A. in Psychology.

In 1999, John moved to Boston, where he began his career in finance, first at Brown & Company, and later at Boston Options Exchange. In 2005, he relocated to Atlanta, Georgia to work at Intercontinental Exchange until the time of his passing.

In 2008, John married Andrea Olczak in Buffalo, New York, and although their marriage eventually ended, they shared many happy memories together and remained close friends.

From an early age, John showed empathy for others. He was sensitive and kind, and his presence was reassuring. As he grew, so did his fun-loving spirit and the twinkle in his eye. He could lighten any situation with his humor, and was a wonderful storyteller, with his hilarious impersonations and commentary. While John liked to have a good time, it was his softer, gentler side that was his greatest gift. John accepted people for who they were and where they were and showed up for them when needed.

John was devoted to friends and family. A kid at heart himself, he was at ease with children, particularly his nieces as well as his friends’ kids. One of the unexpected benefits of the pandemic was the chance for John to return to Vermont and work remotely for months at a time. He enjoyed playing Jeopardy with his mom, watching movies with his dad, and reconnecting with lifelong friends.

John is survived by his parents, Louie and Judy Welna of Georgia, Vermont, his sister, Emily (Welna) Lightle, and her husband John, beloved nieces, Madeline and Katherine Lightle, of Suffield, Connecticut, uncles, cousins, and countless close friends who were like family.

A celebration of life will be held from 6 to 9 pm at the Greg Brown Lodge, 264 Hard’ack Drive, St. Albans, Vermont, on Saturday, June 24, 2023, to come together in a relaxed environment to share stories and to celebrate who John was.

Funeral services will be private for the family.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in memory of John Welna to the Humane Society of Chittenden County, 142 Kindness Court, So. Burlington, VT 05403, or, to celebrate the love John felt for all animals.

A tender heart, a beautiful soul. So greatly loved, so deeply missed

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