We are very honored to highlight Twila Ross Boundy, a revered Welcome Wagon Hostess whose remarkable career spanned from 1949-1961 in Bozeman, MT and then again shortly thereafter, for another two years in Brookings, South Dakota.
As a Welcome Wagon Hostess, Twila proudly displayed the Welcome Wagon placard on the family car as she drove around town, visiting and welcoming the new families by personally delivering baskets of gifts and sharing her knowledge of the neighborhood and the local businesses.
Twila’s gift for friendship and hospitality also extended to the airwaves, where she hosted a regular Welcome Wagon radio program at the local KBMN station in Bozeman. The beginning and end of each program played her theme song — Bing Crosby’s “Dear Hearts and Gentle People”.
According to her son Ross Boundy, “Welcome Wagon was a perfect fit for Mother’s personality and gave her great personal satisfaction and a wonderful reputation for cordiality and friendship”, going on to say “Always an animated conversationalist, Mother quickly made friends of the people she visited and easily gained their confidence…often her visits grew into close friendships”.
One such friendship was with the Kerns family who had escaped East Germany to be with their daughter in Bozeman. Mr. and Mrs. Kerns knew little to no English and they shared their plight with Twila about not knowing anyone or how to go about getting a job. Twila made it her mission to help them and enlisted the help of her husband William “Bill” Ewart Boundy, who quickly found Mr. Kerns a job as a janitor at the local university. From then on, they remained very close friends.
Mr. & Mrs. Kerns were forever grateful for Twila and Bill’s kindness and generosity which allowed them to prosper, and throughout their friendship, showed their appreciation with regular gifts, including heirlooms they had brought with them from Germany; given as wedding gifts to each of the Boundy children, who to this day, consider them to be their prized possessions.
Twila cherished her time with Welcome Wagon, creating an oversized scrapbook embellished with a copper cover labeled “Welcome Wagon” that she hand-tooled. The scrapbook chronicled her career and travels to Welcome Wagon events and conventions, and included everything from photographs, newspaper clippings, Welcome Wagon cartoons (that were published in national media) as well as “a cornucopia of letters and cards of appreciation from her sponsors, civic leaders and the people she visited over her fourteen year career”, as her son Ross puts it.
Years after her tenure with Welcome Wagon, Twila became a business woman, owning and operating Twila’s Gift and Hobby Shop, where she taught crafting to several generations of hobbyists and also traveled to teach workshops at tradeshows, often accompanied by her talented daughter, also named Twila.
Following in their mother’s entrepreneurial footsteps, sister/brother team Twila Weder and Jonathon Boundy opened Expressions in Bloom in 1993, a local florist shop in Corvallis, OR that will be celebrating their 27th year in business on August 3rd, 2020.
What makes Expressions in Bloom a cut above the rest is Twila’s lifetime of craft and floral skills, Jonathon’s love for all things business, plus his wife Glenda’s design talents and those of their skilled employees and award-winning designers!
And, much like their mother, who in her later years was a regular fixture at Expressions in Bloom, Twila and Jonathon take great pride in their work, staying up to date on trends as well as technology, having received countless accolades and recognition within their industry and the communities they serve.
The words “Give it all you’ve got—love to do it—and you’ll have the time of your life!” truly resonates with them as it did with their mother, who thoroughly loved her time and her role at Welcome Wagon.
Twila Ross Boundy passed away in the fall of 2006 at the age of 86, but her rich legacy of love for her family, friends and community lives on. In grateful memory of a “model friend-maker of all times”, her children inscribed her gravestone with the tribute “ALWAYS A WELCOME WAGON HOSTESS”.
A very special thank you to Twila Weder, Jonathon Boundy and Ross Boundy for sharing their mother’s story and for allowing us to use excerpts and images from a booklet Ross eloquently and lovingly put together from the scrapbooks and travel journals he inherited from their mother. We are grateful and proud to have Twila Ross Boundy as an exemplary role model in our collective Welcome Wagon history and for the opportunity to share her story with our Welcome Wagon colleagues, partners and community!