Kilian Conlon Remembered
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT BETH MCNALLY, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, WVU AT PARKERSBURG FOUNDATION, 304-424-8340.
Almost one year ago, on November 1, 2001, the young life of Kilian Felix Conlon ended all too abruptly in a motorcycle accident. He was just nineteen years old, and was about to graduate magna cum laude from West Virginia University at Parkersburg in December. Nearing his associate degree in welding, Kilian was already an apprentice welder in the Boilermakers Union Local 667. Kilian was proud of his job. He loved welding, he loved working, he loved living. He was the kind of person who got up eagerly every morning, excited about what he could do with a brand new day.
Death of a young person is never easy to accept. The death of one so in love with life, so full of energy and expectation, was devastating for his parents, family, friends and co-workers.
Kilianís parents, Steve and Ellie Conlon, decided that the memorial gifts from their family and friends needed to be used in a way that would make the spark of Kilianís life live on. They contacted Tina Buchanan, one of Kilianís favorite instructors in the welding program at WVU Parkersburg, to discuss their intention. She referred them to the WVU at Parkersburg Foundation, where they established the Kilian Felix Conlon Memorial Scholarship Ė Young Weldersí Fund. The scholarship was fully endowed in January 2002.
At the May 2002 awards ceremony at Tyler Consolidated High School, Steve and Ellie Conlon presented Kilianís scholarship to its first recipient, Jason Wyke. In August, Jason began classes, working toward an associate degree in welding at WVU Parkersburg.
The Conlonís are pleased to see that another young man is benefiting from the memorial gifts given in Kilianís name. "The workers of Boilermakersí Union Local 667 were especially active in raising funds to support Kilianís scholarship," said Ellie Conlon. "We are very grateful for their generosity, and for their kindness to Kilian when he worked with them." She added, "We want all our family and friends to know that their generous gifts in Kilianís memory created a chance for another young person to develop a strong, technical career." Because this fund is endowed, the Kilian Felix Conlon Memorial Scholarship will grow and be awarded to many students in the future.
Recipients for the Kilian Conlon Memorial Scholarship are selected without regard to grade point average or ACT scores. Preference is given to residents of Wetzel, Tyler or contiguous counties who have financial need, and who are majoring in welding or industrial maintenance at WVU Parkersburg. Students interested in obtaining an application can contact the Foundation office at 304-424-8340 or by visiting its website at www.wvup.edu/foundation.
Additional gifts to the Kilian Felix Conlon Memorial Scholarship Endowment can be made at any time. Donations to this fund may be eligible for a state tax credit. Contact Beth McNally at 304-424-8340 for more information.