Paul Weldon

His heart was forever on his sleeve. And his priorities were always clear: family, work, faith, community. Paul J. Weldon, third-generation owner of Van Bergen & Greener Inc., a Weldon Corporation, died peacefully in his home from complications of multiple myeloma on May 24, 2021. He was surrounded by immediate family members.

The owner of the only U.S. manufacturer of starter drives and starter drives components, Weldon led the 102-year-old company with innovation, compassion, ambition and empathy. Known and respected in Catholic business leadership communities, he had been an active member of Lumen Institute’s Chicago group.

Born on Nov. 30, 1956, a native of River Forest, he was the fifth of six children of the late Bill and the late Patricia Weldon. He began working with his father at Van Bergen & Greener, a few years after earning his bachelor’s degree in business from Loyola University Chicago in 1978. He later earned his master’s in business administration at Roosevelt University. 

Weldon attended St. Luke School in River Forest, then Roosevelt Junior High. He is a 1974 graduate of Fenwick High School in Oak Park, where he was remembered for his sense of humor. He attended Georgetown University for his freshman year, then transferred to Loyola in Chicago. 

“Paul was the ultimate team player starting with the Weldon Sibling Baseball League in our backyard on Clinton Place in the 1960s,” said Madeleine Weldon-Linne, his sister, who also lives in River Forest. “He was a trusted confidante to his siblings and also to our parents, who were honored he continued on with the family business.” 

Married in 1985 to Bernadette (Treacy), they raised their three children, Matthew, Treacy (Dan) O’Keefe, and Marirose in River Forest before moving to Oak Brook. His wife died in 2004 as a result of an undiagnosed brain tumor. 

He was remarried to Diane (Schikora Tentler) Weldon in 2015. 

“One of the first things anyone would notice about my husband was his warm smile and generous heart,” said Diane Weldon. “Paul was always optimistic, giving sage advice. He was my best friend, a wonderful husband, father and man of deep religious faith.”

A generous supporter of Catholic charities and funds locally, nationally and internationally, Weldon was a modest and private man. 

“Paul believed in the power of prayer and was a witness to hope for his family and friends,” said his friend, Father Jason Brooks. “He was inspired by Mother Teresa, Padre Pio, John Paul II and St. Faustina and lived life to the fullest by always taking the high road.”  

A well-known and popular resident of Oak Brook for more than 25 years, Weldon also had homes in New Buffalo, Michigan and Palm Harbor, Florida, where he spent weekends and vacations with his extended family. 

Known for his generosity to family and his candid sense of humor, he liked to pull pranks and surprise people with his jokes. He was recognized in his neighborhood for his 2000 red Corvette with the license plate, “Ooh Yah.”

“I am so grateful God made him my dad,” said Treacy Weldon O’Keefe. “He was reliable, dependable and fun. He dedicated his whole life to us and set an incredibly high standard of what it means to be a good person.” 

Matt Weldon said, “He was a go-getter and always pushing to do whatever needs to get done, but he made sure it didn’t cost anything to anyone to do it.”

“His actions always matched up to what he was saying,” said Marirose Weldon. “He definitely lived by the morals of being truthful, humble and grateful. I have always worked to embody those as he did.”  

Running the manufacturing company as sole proprietor following his father’s death in 1988 and working alongside his mother who was chief financial officer at the company until her death in 2002, he maintained a fervent commitment to his customers, suppliers and employees in the Maywood plant his father purchased in the 1980s.

In 2009, he told a reporter for APRA.org, the newsletter for the Automotive Parts Rebuilders Association in 2009, “People pass, but ethics live on.” 

In addition to his wife and three children, Paul Weldon is survived by his wife’s three children, Robert, David and Julie Tentler. 

He was the brother of five siblings, Mary Pat (Ken) Woitas, Maureen Weldon, Bill (the late Madonna) Weldon, Madeleine (Mike) Weldon-Linne, and Michele Weldon; and in-laws, William (Deborah) Treacy, Barbara Treacy, Rosemary Treacy, Mary Pat (Jeff) Sutter and Sharon Carroll. 

He was the uncle of 27 nieces and nephews: Megan (Alex) Rodriguez; Jaime (Joe) Doss; Kevin (Sherry ) Woitas; Laura (Rob) Clark; Molly (Joe) Barber; Katie Fegan; Maggie Fegan: Bill Weldon; Erin (Bill) Wilton; Elizabeth (Brian) Freer, Conor (Caroline) Weldon; Caelan (Eric)Lampe; Aleksandra Weldon-Line (Evan) Shapiro; Mariel Reeves; Alyssa (Dustin) Jesberger; Weldon, Brendan and Colin Rogers; Patrick, Caitlin and Sean Treacy; Andrew and Scott Sutter; and Nora Carroll.  

The wake will be held on Wednesday, May 26, 3-8 p.m., at Sullivan Funeral Home, 60 S. Grant St., in Hinsdale.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to: Missionaries of Charity https://www.motherteresa.org/missionaries-of-charity.html or Legionnaries of Christ.

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