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Howard "Dean" Whalen passed away May 15, 2014 at the Dells Rapids Nursing and Rehab Center. Funeral service will begin at 2:30 PM on Tuesday, May 20, 2014, at George Boom Funeral Home in Sioux Falls. The family will be present to greet friends one hour prior to the service on Tuesday. He was born May 8, 1921 to Ira & Laura (Steams) Whalen at Pierre, SD. The family lived on a ranch near Wendte. He started school at Ft. Pierre.
In July 1940 he joined the National Guard and was sent to Camp Ripley in MN for training. He was called to active duty in the Army, 1941 and was sent to Ft. Ord CA. On Nov 1941 he let for the Philippines. He passed through Hawaii a week to the day before the Pearl Harbor bombings. The convoy was rerouted to Australia, stopping in Brisbane for a week before shipping out to Darwin, where the harbor was bombed. After 3 weeks the out?t drove through the heart of the country to Baliret. From there they went by rail to Brisbane, up the east coast to Townsville and then out to sea. They stopped at every island checking them out till reaching New Guinea. In Aug. 1945 he was sent home and discharged. He was awarded the Bronze Star. He rejoined the National Guard, but was recalled to active duty in I950 during the Korean War and was active for 2 years,
before being discharged. He rejoined the National Guard and spent 33 years with them, being discharged in I973. He attained the rank of CW4.
Dean was married to Lorraine Telford in I946 in Pierre, they had one daughter. They divorced in 1948. He worked for the city of Pierre as the superintendent of the Electrical Department for 38 years, retiring in 1983. In 1964 he married Viola "Vi" Frentz in Pierre. They moved to Watertown, SD in 1986 and to Sioux Falls in 2003.
Dean was a lifetime member ofthe VFW and the American Legion. He was the Commander of the VFW Post in Pierre in 1954. Chairman of the Pierre Red Cross. He was a lifetime member of the Exchange Club in Pierre, Aberdeen and Mitchell. Was a charter member of the SD Cowboy & Western Heritage Hall of Fame and a member of the Bethel Ev. Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls.
Dean was preceded in death by his wife Vi in 2011, his parents, brothers Francis and James, infant brother Gibbs. He is survived by daughter Carolyn Watts of Traverse City, Ml, grandchildren Tammy Altsauhler and Tim Watts in MI and 3 great grandchildren, Jean-Luc, Nicole & Quinn and Brother Robert (Joann) of NV and many nieces nephews.
In lieu of ?owers memorials may be directed to the church building fund, media ministry or
George Boom Funeral Home
3408 East 10th Street Sioux Falls, SD 57103
Published in The Argus Leader on May 18, 2014