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.
Published in Worcester Telegram & Gazette from Feb. 18 to Feb. 20, 2017.