Lillian Whelpley

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Lillian Harriet Whelpley passed away peacefully at her home in Bermuda Run on July 12, 2014. She was 89 years old. Born to parents of English and Welsh descent, Lillian lived her childhood years in Waltham attending the Plympton School and Waltham High School. Lillian later graduated from Boston University in 1944, where she also earned her post-graduate degree in 1950, while working for the university. While seeking her undergraduate degree at Boston University, Lillian was an active member of her sorority. Upon graduation from Boston University Lillian joined the Christian Science Monitor in Boston where she worked for many years. She later accepted a position at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the Department of Biology and thereafter joined the Office of the Chancellor of MIT, where she acted as the primary liaison for foreign exchange students from across the globe. Lillian was beloved by all of the students whom she mentored, many whom she figuratively adopted as her own. During and well beyond her retirement of 38 years of service at MIT, Lillians students from around the world remained in close contact with her as they began their careers in the then-faraway lands of England, France, Germany, Italy, Romania, India, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan. An avid traveler, Lillian visited her former students and maintained a close bond with their families. As a child, Lillian frequented Marthas Vineyard and Cape Cod, where she spent many of her childhood summers, and New Hampshire, where she vacationed in the fall with her parents and extended family. Her love for the Cape and the Vineyard carried into her adult years, fortifying her commitment to John Wesley United Methodist Church in Falmouth where she worshiped with the congregation. An accomplished pianist, Lillian also served as head organist for many years at the John Wesley United Methodist Church, commuting between the Cape and Boston, as her late husband then acted at the founding Director of Music at the Cape Cod Music Conservatory. Lillian was preceded in death by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Harry H. Whelpley, and her cousin, Richard F. Whelpley. She is survived by her cousins Donald H. Whelpley, of Hinsdale, Massachusetts and David B. Whelpley, Sr., of Greenville, South Carolina. Family and friends will honor and remember Lillians life by gathering at a graveside service at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, September 5, 2014 in Mount Feake Cemetery, 203 Prospect Street, Waltham. Her family would like to deeply thank the loving and caring devotion of the saints at Bermuda Run Retirement Center and Hospice of Davie County, North Carolina. To share a memory or offer condolences please visit

Funeral Home
Joyce Funeral Home
245 Main Street Waltham, MA 02453
(781) 894-2895
Funeral Home Details
Published in Waltham News Tribune from Aug. 28 to Sept. 4, 2014