Joseph Whalen
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Joseph F.X. Whalen Jr.

Worcester - Joseph F.X. "Joe" Whalen Jr. died peacefully on Feb. 18, 2017, surrounded by his family at his childhood home in Worcester after a long illness. He was 86.

Born in Worcester, son of Joseph F.X. and Anne M. (McDonough) Whalen, Joe is survived by his loving wife of 50 years, Mary G. (Anderson) Whalen, and his four children: Joseph F.X. Whalen III & his wife Emily Woodward of Topsham, ME; Caragh M. & her husband Michael Feinblatt of Framingham, Meaghan M. Whalen & Javier Zafon Castejon of Worcester, and Edward A. and his wife Kelly Whalen of Holden. Joe also leaves his 12 grandchildren, who loved their "Da": Lorelei Margaret and Jack McDonough Woodward Whalen; Emma Anderson, Ryan Joseph, Michael Edward, and Andrew Whalen Feinblatt; Francisco Luc, Madeline Teresa, and Alejandro Tristan Zafon-Whalen; and Carlin Grace, Shea Anderson, and Joseph McCormack Whalen.

Joe was a Realtor, a life member of the Worcester Board of Realtors, and manager of Jim O'Connell Realtors for 40 years. He was a well-known musician-a concert Marimbist, as well as a soloist and lector for 30 years at Blessed Sacrament Church. In 2011, he was honored as "outstanding parishioner" by the parish. Joe was the Youth Chorale Director for 20 years and was most proud of his annual Christmas Chorales, and all the C.Y.C. members.

He was a life member of the Central MA. Conference of Football Officials, as well as a manager and coach for 13 years at Jesse Burkett Little League and West Side Babe Ruth League teams.

A 1948 graduate of St. Peter's High School, Joe was a very proud 1952 graduate of the College of the Holy Cross, and served as class agent since 1952. A Director of the Holy Cross Greater Alumni Association for many years, and winner of many annual Holy Cross Fund awards, he was named the "Crusader of the Year" in 1986. Joe also served as Past President of the Holy Cross Club of Worcester. In 1999, he was awarded the "In Hoc Signo" Award by the Holy Cross Alumni Association. Active in Alumni Affairs and a member of the Order of Purple Knights, Joe was the annual presenter of the College's John B. Turco Homecoming MVP award.

A proud eight-year veteran of the United States Naval Reserve (1951-1958) serving in the Hospital Corps as a 1st Class Petty Officer, Joe was also a former Vice President of the Kiwanis Club, as well as a former Vice President of the MS (Multiple Sclerosis) Society. He was a longtime member of the First Friday Club of Worcester.

A "family man" to the core, Joe loved visiting Cape Cod. He enjoyed traveling through Ireland with Mary, and was never more at home than when enjoying Irish music in a good pub. Joe delighted in tailgating at Holy Cross football games for decades with family and friends. A great storyteller, he loved his native city of Worcester.

The family would like to express their gratitude to the University of Massachusetts Physicians:

Gerard Aurigemma, Robert Quinlan, James Liebmann, Janika Moni, Raymond Dunn, Mary Maloney and especially Stephen Erban who has walked this journey with Joe for over 20 years with integrity, compassion and excellence.

The funeral will be held Wednesday, February 22, from the Athy Memorial Home, 111 Lancaster St., Worcester, with a Mass at 10 a.m. in Blessed Sacrament Church, 555 Pleasant St., Worcester. Burial will follow in St. John's Cemetery. Calling hours at the funeral home are Tuesday, February 21, from 5 to 8 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the College of the Holy Cross, P.O. Box Dev, 1 College Street, Worcester, MA 01610.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Worcester Telegram & Gazette from Feb. 18 to Feb. 20, 2017.
Calling hours
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St. John's Cemetery
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26 entries
March 3, 2017
February 24, 2017
Joe was a gentleman whose life was one of significant accomplishment - professionally, and in a range of other areas of focus and interest to him: music, sports, military service, and a variety of civic and philanthropic activities. Above all, though, he was devoted to his family, his church, his Irish heritage, and his college. All benefited enormously from his dedication to them. For forty years, I served on boards, and in activities, at Holy Cross, with Joe, and throughout that time he was a source of sound advice, practical wisdom, and effective effort, on behalf of HC. Holy Cross urges its students to be "men and women for others" - individuals devoted to the care, support, and well-being of those they are able to assist. Joe lived life vibrantly, true to this Ignatian tradition, and generations of Holy Cross students benefited, directly and indirectly, from his dedication to their well-being and to that of their college. He leaves behind him a wealth of pleasant memories for all of us who were privileged to know him and to work with him.
Brian O'Connell
February 24, 2017
I certainly remember Joe at the marimba as in this picture! What fun times we all had doing Bill Farrell's shows. Wherever Joe went he made people smile. I will miss him and I promise to keep all of you in my prayers.

Deepest sympathy.
Mary Therese (Murray) Vargas
Mary Therese (Murray) Vargas
February 22, 2017
I always think of Mr. Whalen during the Christmas season -- lots of fun memories of the CYC Christmas Chorale. His big smile filled the room as he shared his love of music. The Angels have a new choir member....

My condolences to the Whalen family.

Susan Saulnier O'Gorman
February 22, 2017
Dear Mary and family,
My sincere condolences. I am so sorry. When I think of Joe, I remember a wonderful husband, father, friend and musician ...his singing voice rising to the rafters at Blessed Sacrament Church. His patience tested while preparing children (including Lizanne and Katie at the piano) for our special Christmas Chorale at BS. His love for you Mary and children, and everything Irish. Above all his kindness, work ethic and dignity he instilled in you, his very accomplished children and grands...God rest his honorable Irish soul. He will be missed.
Love and prayers,
Kathleen Allard Madaus
Kathleen Allard Madaus
February 22, 2017
Mary, Meaghan, Javier, Luc, Madeline, Alejandro and family. With sincere condolences of the passing of Joe. May all your happy memories bring you much peace. Sincerely, Carol Rutkiewicz.
Carol Rutkiewicz
February 21, 2017
Dear Whalens, I am so very sorry. I have so many fond memories of Mr. Whalen's big laugh, friendly smile, and joyful Christmas Chorale productions. There are Christmas carols that have always and will forever make me think of him. I am sorry I can't be with you this week. Please know my thoughts and prayers and sadness are with you. Love, Kate Kelly
Kate Kelly
February 21, 2017
To the Whalen family, Kevin & I were so sorry to read of Joe's passing. Please know our thoughts & prayers are with you all at this sad time.
Kevin & Ann Marie Sweeten
February 21, 2017
Eddie and Family,

I am very sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you.
Dan Gately
February 21, 2017
Dear Mary and Family,
So sorry to hear the sad news. Joe was a wonderful person; always faced life with courage, grace and humor. He will be greatly missed. Love and prayers.

Ellen and Chris
Ellen Geanacopoulos
February 21, 2017
So sorry for your loss
Truman Head
February 20, 2017
To the Whalen family,

Death leaves a heartache no one can heal.
Love leaves a memory no one can steal.
- an Irish headstone

I met him briefly and was enamored by the beauty of his family. His family, like a tremendous bouquet - sons and daughters and grandchildren and friends. His wife, a woman as strong as she ever needed to be with a flame of love that will burn forever...for him.

Please accept our deepest condolences for great your loss.
Arnold & Debra Ceglia & family
February 20, 2017
So sorry for the loss of such a special man. God bless him and all of you.
Andrea Ruin and Family
February 20, 2017
Our thoughts and prayers are with you Mary and to the rest of your family during these difficult times. Joe will be greatly missed by all of his friends and associates. Joe was a great person, family man, and active parishioner at Blessed Sacrament Parish. Until we meet again, may he be safely in Jesus's arms in heaven. May he Rest in Peace.
John & Regina Mulvihill
February 20, 2017
As I reach way back to those memories of Mr. Whalen on M. Ave, a big smile came over me ... remembering his kindness and the Whalen family that was his pride and joy. Thoughts and Prayers and many, many Happy Memories to all.
-Steve Lieber and family
Steve Lieber
February 20, 2017
The Heavens are alive with the sound of music as the Lord welcomes Joe into His kingdom of Heaven.

Mary, may you & your family find special comfort in knowing Joe's journey on life's path touched many in the College of Holy Cross community. Especially the class of '52. Deepest Sympathy
Jack & Pat Feltch
February 20, 2017
We have lost a real nice gentleman in Joe RIP...His many accomplishments will attest to his abilities... Mary, and all the Whalen family can be assured that you are in our thoughts and prayers...Was great to have him in our Irish community....God bless all....
Eddie and Imelda Gallivan
February 20, 2017
Dear Mary & Family,

Please accept our deepest condolences on Joe's passing. We have many years fond memories of him and your family. Joe was a great guy who will be missed. Rest in peace Joe. You and he will be in our thoughts and prayers.
Jim & Betty Gallagher
February 20, 2017
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February 20, 2017
My thoughts and prayers to your family during this difficult time. I always loved and looked forward to the CYC Christmas chorales! Mr. Whalen made rehearsals so much fun and each production always turned out beautiful! He put in many hours preparing this yearly celebration and I thank him for all those fond memories. Rest in peace.
Deirdre D'Arcy-Shea
February 20, 2017
Though our grateful nation mourns with you in your loss, we can only feel a small part of the loss you are experiencing.

Your loved one will always be a part of our country's story. As such, their sacrifice on behalf of our nation will always be honored.

In deepest sympathy.
A Grateful American
February 20, 2017
Joe, Caragh, Ed and family...I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your Dad. May your memories help you through this most difficult time. Thoughts and prayers to you all.
Jill Lavin Samia
February 20, 2017
So sorry to hear of Mr Whalen passing. Such great guy, a one a kind with a wonderful family you could tell he was very proud of. I was very fortunate to have had him as baseball coach at an early age. He was so kind, taught us play the game right way, and prioritized us players having fun over all else.
Over the years you'd always enjoy when you got see him. Such an enjoyable person to be around. He will be greatly missed.
Peter Bowler
February 20, 2017
Dear Mary, Joe, Caragh,Meaghan, Edward and All the Family,

I was very sorry to learn of your loss of Joe. From the time I was a young child appearing with him in Mr. Farrell's shows at the Little Theater to our most recent, occasional encounters at noon mass at St. Paul's Cathedral chapel he was always one of the nicest, kindest men I have known. Now born to Eternal Life and Love in Our Lord, whom he served as a most faithful servant.

I regret that due to services and arrangements for my Aunt Ruth Shea, who died the day before Joe passed, I will be unable to attend the services, but know that Joe and each of you are and will remain in my prayers.
Jim Cosgrove
February 19, 2017
A St. Peter's H.S. classmate of Joe. Though we lost touch through the years, I have fond memories of Joe - always a friendly classmate!

May he be warmly welcomed in his heavenly home! A true faithful servant of The Lord! Also extend sincere condolences to his dear family. He is with you in spirit and in your treasured memories... God comfort you as only He can...

Dolores Didonna Bush
Dolores D. Bush
February 19, 2017
My Condolences to the Whalen Family on the passing of Joe! I did Know Joe from the Jim O'Connell Agency on Pleasant Street and his closeness to the family of my late Uncle Jim O'Connell,He was a very good guy! He asked me to pray for him,I did Indeed! May His Soul Rest in Peace,Amen.
Alfred G."Jerry" Laverty
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