Michael Welgan

Obituary of Michael Anthony Welgan

Michael Anthony Welgan

September 22, 1966- June 4, 2024

In the early morning of June 4, 2024, Michael passed away at the age of 57, after a 25 year battle with Multiple Sclerosis. Sincere thanks to the palliative care staff at Southlake Regional Health Centre, staff at Newmarket Health Centre and the many personal support workers (Uxbridge) who have provided care to Michael on this lengthy journey.

Michael was preceded in death by his father Anthony (Tony). He is survived by his mother, Marianna, his wife Lisa, his two daughters, Melinda and Anna, his sister Theresa and her husband Chris, his nephews Ethan and Sean, his many cousins including Marek and Tom, aunts and uncles and dear friends.

Michael was born and lived most of his life in St Catharines. He attended Niagara College and spent his career working as an HVAC technician in the Niagara Region.

Michael had a deep love for his family, his wife Lisa, his daughters Melinda and Anna and the family dog, Bryta, who was his lap companion for many years. Michael had a strong faith in God and the Virgin Mary. Watching daily mass online and praying the rosary brought him strength and comfort.

A visitation will be held from 2-4 pm on Sunday, June 9, 2024 at George Darte Funeral Home, 585 Carlton Street, St Catharines, Ontario. Prayers and the rosary will be said at the beginning of the visitation. A Funeral Mass will be held at 11am Monday, June 10, 2024 at Our Lady Of Perpetual Help Catholic Church, 5 Oblate Street, St Catharines, Ontario.

A private burial service will take place at Victoria Lawn Cemetery at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations to FEED Niagara, Niagara SPCA or to a charity of your choice, would be appreciated.

"As mariners are guided in to port by the shining of a star, so Christians are guided to Heaven by Mary"- St. Thomas Aquinas.


Eulogy of Michael Welgan – June 10th 2024

By his cousin Thomas Cybula


When preparing Michael’s eulogy, I was reminded of a poem that perhaps some of you may have read:  It’s called “The Dash.”  Essentially, “The Dash” recounts that upon our passing, it is not the date of our birth, nor the date of our death that is significant. Rather it is that dash, between the dates, that is key as to how we will be remembered.  It is about our impact and influence we had upon the lives of our loved ones and others.  In essence, did we make a positive difference in someone’s life?

I suppose If I were to deliver a conventional eulogy for Michael, I would recount, in the third person, how he was a devoted husband to Lisa, proud and loving father to Melinda & Anna; a much loved son to Marianne and the late Anthony; big brother to his sister Theresa and her husband Chris; a grandson, nephew, uncle, cousin, friend & colleague.  Furthermore, that he had the privilege of being born into the Welgan and Cybula clans, renowned for their stoicism, industriousness, generosity, and steely determination – also known as stubbornness, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing some of the time!  

There would be reminiscence of some memorable events; such as how Michael and I would climb up the back seat of my Uncle Tony’s 1963 Mercury, and hang out the retractable rear window while the car was speeding down the highway much to the consternation of both his mother and mine, his Auntie Yola.  There were no seatbelts those days!  Then, there was the time I tricked Michael into believing that Aunt Helen’s gander was as friendly as any Labrador Retriever.  In fact, it was a large, temperamental male goose seriously prone to biting one’s backside and leaving bruises!  Years later, Michael convinced me that I should sell him my dream car, a 1983 Pontiac Trans-am, at a steep discount no less, because I was his favorite cousin.  Michael, with my upcoming marriage, deemed I should be driving something more family oriented.

As important are the events, which I just detailed, it is only extract Michael’s biography.  I genuinely believe “The Dash” has a much more profound connotation – if you will, it is a glimpse of the soul – and that glimpse was predicated upon Michael’s deep Christian Faith.  He lived his life according to Jesus’ Greatest Commandment:  “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength:” Secondly:  “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  And it is that faith which manifested itself in Michael’s desire to spread Joy.  Not just happiness, which is a fleeting emotion, but Joy; a more long-lasting state of being, characterized by contentment and satisfaction with life overall. 

            Some may recall cousin Marek and Amanda’s wedding on July 13th, 2002 at the Polish Hall.  It was a grand event with every Cybula first cousin residing in Canada attending. A slight glitch occurred at toward the end of the evening – the air conditioner failed.  It certainly was an annoyance.  But that failure was unacceptable to Michael.  In his tuxedo, he climbed to the roof and repaired the air conditioner.  It was a story we often recounted and on reflection was indicative of his character – it was his way of spreading Joy by putting others first.

            Even while afflicted with Multiple Sclerosis, which eventually robbed Michael of his physical capabilities, he never lost his ability to spread Joy.  Michael always greeted visits with a smile!  I recall sharing lunch and laughs with my wife Elaine, with Theresa, Chris, and Marek, inside “Michael’s Bus” parked in the driveway of his parent’s home.  Michael was determined to attend our daughter Alexandra’s wedding in 2019, and there are many photos of him beaming with infectious excitement.  

During Michael’s final days, I believe he wanted to be surrounded by people so that they would connect, reconnect, share stories, and even have fun.  Despite the sadness of witnessing Michael’s decline, he never seemed to lose his sense of joy.  He uproariously laughed at the tales we told.  There was truly was a lot of Joy that day in his room at Southlake Hospital in Newmarket.

            “It’s God’s Will” was Michael’s response to inquiries about MS. He never lost his faith and handled his affliction with strength, courage, fortitude, and the hope that a greater reward will await him.

            I believe that despite our sadness, our grief, and our mourning, the best way we can honour Michael, is to spread some Joy. That’s why he wanted us all here together today, to share Joy through our fellowship.  That my friends, is Michael’s “Dash.”





2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Sunday, June 9, 2024
George Darte Funeral Home
585 Carlton Street
St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada

Funeral Mass

11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Monday, June 10, 2024
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church
5 Oblate St
St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
(905) 937-4230
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