Jerold Alan (Jerry) Whalen
1946 - 2021
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Jerold Alan (Jerry) Whalen

Altoona - Jerold Alan (Jerry) Whalen, age 74, of Altoona, died January 7 at Taylor House hospice in Des Moines following a short illness. Jerry was born May 31, 1946, in the Hamilton County Hospital in Webster City, to Ralph and Nioma (Enderson) Whalen. He graduated from South Hamilton with the class of 1964. He married the former Kris Sutka on August 16, 1969.

Jerry worked for the City of Webster City line department before he went to UNI, where he graduated in 1972 with a degree in social studies education. He taught social studies at Northeast Hamilton for one semester. He and his wife then moved to Bondurant, and later to Altoona. Jerry worked for Ross Electric in Bondurant for a period of time before accepting a position with DMACC, teaching electrical trades to high school students in the Knoxville area for 27 years. Jerry and his students wired numerous garages and farm buildings in the Knoxville area over the years, as well as doing the wiring in the homes built by the KHS Building Trades classes.

Following his retirement in June of 2002, Jerry and his wife purchased a cabin on Long Lake at Vergas, Minnesota, where they spent their summers for 18 years. Jerry was an avid fisherman and a sucker for the latest lure or fishing technology. He loved having family and friends visit at the cabin.

Jerry received a kidney transplant in October of 2014, which gave him six bonus years to enjoy his retirement.

He is survived by his wife Kris; his son Stephen (Alyson) Whalen of Coon Rapids, Minnesota; his daughter Jennifer (Jacob) Juhl of Bondurant; six grandchildren, Chloe Whalen, Carter Whalen, Cody Whalen, Izibelle Juhl, Mae Juhl and Amelia Juhl; his brother Richard (Bonnie) Whalen of rural Stanhope; his uncle Orlin Enderson of Ankeny; two nephews; and several cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents and grandparents.

A celebration of life will be held in the spring in Bondurant. His ashes will be interred in the Lawn Hill Cemetery south of Stanhope, also in the spring, with a graveside service at that time.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in the Des Moines Register from Jan. 12 to Jan. 17, 2021.
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9 entries
January 13, 2021
Gary and I extend our sincere condolences to you Kris and the family on your loss of Jerry. May you find much comfort and strength in friendships healing touch. Gary and Carol Anne Tracy
Gary and Carol Anne Tracy
January 13, 2021
Whalen Family,
I'm so sorry for your loss. While I didn't have Mr. Whalen as a teacher, I do remember seeing him around Knoxville High School (where the middle school is now located). He was a good teacher and role model.

Praying for you at this difficult time.


Kim Jolly
January 13, 2021
Kris as usual I I am at a loss for words. That said however you and your family are certainly in our thoughts and prayers. Hopefully we will get together in the spring to celebrate Jerry's life.
Tom and Joan Ouren
January 13, 2021
So sorry for your loss Mrs. Whalen (Kris!). I remember so many fun times as a kid after ball games and other events with you and Jerry. Jerry was always so kind and a gentle hearted man. Always a smile and a laugh. Praying for your comfort and peace in this difficult time.
Kurt VanDePol
January 13, 2021
Jerry has been a great friend of mine since the consolidation of our high schools in 1962. He was a master electrician and a master fisherman! I witnessed it firsthand as he completed electrical projects in my home and as I accompanied him on a fishing excursion a few years ago. May he rest in peace and may loving memories bring peace, comfort, and strength to Kris, Stephen, Jennie, and all his extended family.
Dennis VanLangen
January 13, 2021
Sorry to hear of your loss. He inspired many students by his teaching of electrical trades in Knoxville. Our sons who took what they learned in his classes and used them in their own homes and in the construction and remodeling business they had. Gary was also on the electrical trades board at the school and was impressed with Jerry’s ability to teach and inspire the students. I was proud to be part of working with him. May God give you peace and comfort at this time. Gary and Carol Kingery
Gary Kingery
January 12, 2021
Great human and a great teacher. Truly sad to hear this.
Michael Roberts
January 12, 2021
So sorry to hear this. You have wonderful memories -they will sustain you through this time.
Linda Sanny
January 12, 2021
What a great legacy left on the planet by Jerry. He is alive in the buildings he crafted, the students impacted, his community, friends and neighbors...but most of all in his wife Kris, his children, and grandchildren. Jerry, thank you and you are missed!
Laurie Phelan
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