William Joseph Whelan, 82, born and raised in Lynn and a 55-year-resident of Hamilton died peacefully Saturday evening, Feb. 9, 2013 in Vero Beach, Fla. surrounded by family.
He leaves behind his cherished wife of 59 years, Jean (Mullen). He will be deeply missed by his six children, their spouses and his adoring grandchildren: William J. Jr. (Natalie), and their children Amanda, Kevin, and Jack; Terrance (Michele), and their children Alexandra, Christopher and Megan; Ellen Shaughnessy (Keith), and their children Megan, Michael and Kari; James (Francine), and their children Allison, Annie, William and Kailee; Mari Schoder (Thomas), and their children Katie, Thomas and Ginny; and Thomas (Jule) and their children Molly, TJ and Teddy. He also leaves his loving sisters Mildred Beaton, Mary Jane Doyle, sisters-in-law Denise Whelan and Norma Whelan along with countless nieces and nephews. Bill was predeceased by brothers Thomas Whelan and Robert Whelan.
Bill graduated from Lynn English High School in 1948, where his father, Thomas J. Whelan was the principal. He then attended a post graduate year at Deerfield Academy and graduated from Cornell University in 1953. Throughout his school years he was the consummate athlete, capped off at Cornell where he captained the football and baseball teams. Bill was honored by being inducted into the Cornell Athletic Hall of Fame in 1983 and the Lynn English Inaugural Hall of Fame in 1996. After graduating, Bill served two years in the U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps stationed at Fort Lee in Petersburg, Va.
Bill's successful business career began as a sales executive at Owens Corning Fiberglass. Later, Bill was named Vice President of Sales for the Huse Liberty Mica Co. before founding the Earl B. Beach Company of New England based in Woburn, where he served as president. For over 25 years he served in this capacity, caring deeply about his employees and customers. After growing the company and raising their six children, he sold the company to a national distributor of electronic assembly supplies in order to enjoy retirement with Jean in Hamilton and Vero Beach, Fla.
Bill was an active member of the St. Paul's Catholic Church in Hamilton, serving as an usher for many years. He coached youth teams for his children over the years and shared his love of sports throughout his life. His passion was spending time on the golf course with friends and family. A true student of the game, he was always seeking ways to improve and eagerly shared what he learned with all. While he earned many awards and accolades playing in golf and tennis tournaments over the years at Myopia, Manchester Bath and Tennis Club, and The Moorings, his modest and genuinely humble demeanor made him a true champion to all that knew him.
His caring and sincere nature was felt by so many in the community. Bill's grandchildren will cherish all of the special times and "memorable moments" they each shared with their Grampa, and there were many. Bill possessed a rare gift of letting everyone who he loved know they were special to him in a way that was unique to them. His positive, loving and caring nature will carry on in all of those who were honored to know him.
Visiting hours will be held at Campbell Funeral Home in North Beverly from 3-8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 15. Funeral services will be held at St. Paul’s Church in South Hamilton at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 16. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Heart Association, PO Box 417005, Boston, MA 02241-7005, or to the Hamilton-Wenham Little League, PO Box 2305, South Hamilton, MA 01982.