Observe the wonders as they occur around you. Do not claim them. Feel the artistry moving through, and be silent. – Rumi
Our dear son and brother passed away a year ago this month, though he remains as strong, vibrant, and loving as ever in our memories. Sadly, his rich and exuberant life, his brilliant and talented best, was ended by alcoholism, despite much supportive help and encouragement by family members and professionals.
Alan came into the world on September 22, 1960, beginning a lifelong pursuit of adventure and knowledge.
From a young age, his natural impulse was to meet the world headon with happy abandon courage, and zest. Sailing a boat in white capped waters was his style, alive and connected to the natural energy about him.
While attending SBCC in the early 1980s, Alan was elected student body president, and went on to study architecture at Cal Poly. He was a naturally gifted artist, craftsman, carpenter, mechanic, inventor, dance instructor, horticulturist, and artisan. His lifelong passions included mastery of diverse aspects of science, art, craft, and language. He was an artful linguist and poet, spoke fluent Italian and Spanish, and also knew German, Latin, Portuguese and Croatian.
In the 1970s, while in high school, he worked at an apple orchard near his family home in Massachusetts. At the age of eighteen he moved to Texas and worked as a surveyor and construction manager on high-rise buildings in Dallas. In the late 1980s he moved to Europe where he became a landscaper. There he co-founded and operated a landscape company I Systema Gardina, in Rome, Italy. During the 1990s, he was an interpreter, performer and puppeteer for I Pupi Sicialani, sponsored by the Italian Ministry of Culture for performances throughout Europe as well as in Canada, Argentina, and other countries. Returning to Santa Barbara in 2008, he specialized in remodeling, maintenance, and design, and was also was active with Channel Islands Restoration, both on the Islands and in the mainland foothills.
Alan’s life’s work was expressed by fine-tuning the world around him to better working order. Wherever he went, a wake of intuitively installed repairs, artful beautifications, and sound improvements followed him.
Alan has two children. Roberto Marvin Wellman, an accomplished graduate student and docent of Art History in Rome, and Sonja Wellman, a recent high school graduate who enjoys travel and lives with her mother in Holland.
Alan was a kind, loving, and gentle soul who could find common ground with almost anyone he encountered. His inquisitive nature and intellectual curiosities led him on countless adventures.
Tall in stature, he had a well practiced grace about his movement and was an excellent dancer. He took a life-long pride in his fitness, and was meticulous about his appearance and the aesthetics, design and upkeep of his surroundings.
During his birth in 1960, the doctor administered scopolamine in heavy dosage, (an arcane procedure from the 1900s that we now know is detrimental to infant nervous systems); this no doubt worsened or even caused Alan’s lifelong severe hyperactivity, frequent seizures, and occasional depression. Like many born with this condition, (now more commonly known as ADHD), Alan self-medicated its challenges with alcohol.
Also, a motorcycle accident at age 20 gave him unseen physical limitations and repeated hip replacements, which he endured bravely and privately.
Alan is survived by father William H. Wellman (Linda Wilder), mother Ann Wellman (nee Tognazzini), sister Nina Hager of Santa Ynez Valley, brother Paul Wellman (Suzanne Cloutier) of Santa Barbara, son Roberto Marvin Wellman (mother Paola Profili) of Rome and daughter Sonja Wellman (mother Annemarie Mallekoote) of Amsterdam, plus countless relatives and friends.
Alan is at final rest on the Tognazzini family property in Cuyama, CA, a place he loved for its solitude and natural beauty . . . fulfilling the sentiment he expressed ever since his youth: “always dreaming, always there.”