Edward LaRue Weldon, of Calhoun, Georgia., died peacefully December 16, 2022, with his family by his side. Ed was born September 12, 1936, in Miami, Florida, son of Ruth Williams and George Weldon. He was the stepson of Jesse Clyde Hall Sr.; the brother of the late Shirley Louise Hall Schneeberger and the late Jesse Clyde Hall Jr.; and the uncle of the late Will Franklin Schneeberger.
Ed was married for more than 60 years to Lilla Jane Powers Weldon. His immediate survivors are his wife, Jane; sons Richard Lawrence Weldon and his wife, Angelia; and Edward Samuel Weldon and his wife, Arianne; grandsons Daniel Parsons and his wife, Rachel; Samuel Lawrence Weldon and his wife, Ariana; and Dellar Edward Weldon; a great-granddaughter, Emily Parsons; a niece, Patricia Hall; and a grandniece, Viera Jane.
Educated in the public schools of Lake Worth, Florida, Ed played baseball and golf and was inducted with his Little League team into the Florida Baseball Hall of Fame. A leader in his school classes, he attended Florida Boys’ State. Ed was a George Baker Scholar at Oberlin College, where he majored in economics. He was a class president and lettered in varsity baseball, graduating with an impressive black eye from an errant pitch.
He went on to earn M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in history from Emory University and studied archives administration at American University and the Georgia Archives Institute. He taught history at Converse College, Emory, and Georgia State University. He wrote his doctoral dissertation on Mark Sullivan, progressive journalist and friend of presidents. For his research, he had a summer fellowship to the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace, at Stanford University, where Sullivan’s papers are housed.
He was the first southeastern regional archivist for the National Archives at its federal records center in East Point, Ga. From Georgia Ed went to the National Archives in Washington, D.C., as head of the appraisal division and editor of the American Archivist, the scholarly publication of the profession.
Ed was appointed the first archivist of the state of New York. There he oversaw the archives’ move to the new Cultural Education Center on the South Mall of the capital. He was president of the Society of American Archivists, a board member of the Albany Institute of History and Art, and a delegate to the White House Council on Library and Information Services in Washington.
Ed returned to the National Archives in Washington as Deputy Archivist of the United States. He administered the presidential libraries and was a commissioner for the National Historic Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). He was a delegate for the U.S. State Department to Paris for a UNESCO conference on archives. He participated in archives study tours to ten European countries and spent a month in China as part of an educational delegation.
Leaving Washington, he returned to Georgia as head of the Georgia Department of Archives and History. He established the Georgia Historical Records Advisory Board, coordinated a statewide needs assessment and plan for historical records preservation and access, oversaw the building of a new state records center in south Atlanta, administered the Georgia Historical Society when it was a branch of the Georgia Archives, and, before retiring in 2000, participated in early planning for the new State Archives building adjacent to the Federal Regional Archives and Clayton College and State University.
As editor of the American Archivist, Ed published frequent news notes and contributed to Prologue, the journal of the National Archives. The founding president of the Society of Georgia Archivists and a member of its first class of fellows, he is a fellow, past president, and former board member of the Society of American Archivists. He gave his presidential address, “Archives and the Challenges of Change,” to the Society of American Archivists in Boston’s historic Faneuil Hall and initiated planning for the future of the archival profession. He was a speaker at the New Harmony Conference and co-edited its published proceedings, Access to the Papers of Recent Public Figures: The New Harmony Conference. Ed received a Governor’s Award in the Humanities from the Georgia Humanities Council and the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Georgia Historical Records Advisory Board. The Georgia Association of Museums and Galleries, of which he was a former board member, named him and his wife, Jane, Museum Professionals of the Year and awarded the two its Lifetime Achievement Award.
Following his retirement, Ed and Jane took several trips out of the country, most notably extended stays in Scotland and Ireland. Giving up tennis after a shoulder injury, he enjoyed golfing with friends, including OSOGA, and he played the old course at St. Andrews, King’s Barnes, and several other courses on independent travels with family and friends.
Other activities included membership in Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church, where he was a trustee and member of the administrative board; Georgia Family Connection Partnership board; Boy Scout troop committee chair; Indian Guides leader; curator of the Albany, N.Y., Institute of History and Art; treasurer and chair of the Calhoun Gordon County Library Board during an extensive renovation of the library; and board member and treasurer of the Calhoun Gordon Arts Council. He was a founding member of Keep Calhoun Gordon Beautiful and a member of the Calhoun Historic Preservation Commission and the Gordon County Historical Society. He was graduate school representative to the Emory alumni board. Ed was known for his love of his family, professional stature, administrative skills, kind nature, and quick wit. He had a keen mind and a merry heart.
There will be a celebration of Ed’s life on February 4, 2023, at 2 p.m., at Calhoun First United Methodist Church, and another on February 11, at 11 a.m., in the Little Chapel of Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church on the Emory University campus in Atlanta.
Memorial gifts may be made to the Edward Weldon Scholarship, Society of Georgia Archivists (email@example.com) or the Powers Scholarship, Calhoun First United Methodist Church (P.O. Box 517, Calhoun, Ga., 30703).
You may leave the family online condolences at www.thomasfuneralhomecalhoun.com
Thomas Funeral Home has proudly been entrusted with the care of Edward LaRue Weldon.