In memory of
Edward Joseph Whalen, 82, most recently of Delray Beach, FL, passed away on January 19, 2020 from complications related to cancer. Ed, son of the late Harry and Catherine Whalen, was born in NY, NY on August 7, 1937. A long-time resident of Valley Cottage, NY, Ed graduated from Nyack High School, and attended St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore, MD, where he studied to be a priest. Although his faith was important to him, Ed’s work with orphanages in Baltimore led him to a career in education instead of the priesthood. Upon graduating seminary he spent two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ecuador, where he founded the John F. Kennedy School #1 in the village of El Esfuerzo. Following this transformative experience, Ed attended Harvard University where he obtained a Masters in Education and then went on to earn a Masters in Administration from Columbia University. After working as an elementary school teacher in the Nyack Public Schools, he went on to serve as an administrator in a number of school districts, including as principal of his own elementary school in Valley Cottage, NY. Ed finally retired from Newfield Elementary School in Stamford, CT after serving as principal for over a decade. Ed will be remembered for living his best life; he put his heart and soul into everything he participated in. He influenced the lives of countless teachers and students through his positivity and innovative teaching strategies. He not only loved to garden, he was a Master Gardener in both New York and Florida, and volunteered with many gardening associations, including the Morakami Japanese Gardens where he helped preserve and protect the bonsai collection. He travelled the globe in his lifetime, visiting almost every state in the United States, and more than 100 countries on six continents. He was very active in his home parish of St. Vincent de Ferrer in Delray Beach, FL, serving as a lector and volunteer in the parish school. He was also a Knight of Columbus. Ed loved dancing, swimming, and golf. He loved to cook, host dinner parties and socialize with his many friends who were part of his large extended family. His grandchildren and great grandchildren were the light of his life. Everyone who knew him would agree that he is currently tap dancing in heaven. Ed is pre-deceased by his brother and sister-in-law Harry (Reggie) and Lucille Whalen, his sister and brother-in-law Patricia (Patti) and Joel Lapointe, his sister Mary (Micki) Good and his wife Marilou Mayetta Whalen. He is survived by his daughter and son-in-law Shannon and Troy Gifford of Wilbraham, MA, his daughter Maura Whalen of Amherst, MA, and his daughter and son-in-law Amy and Patrick O’Meara of New Rochelle, NY; his grandchildren Timothy, Bethany and Luke Whalen-Sylver, Riley Whalen, Stephanie and John Martin, and Sean O’Meara; and his great-grandsons Liam and Ethan Martin. Visiting Hours for Ed will be held Friday, January 31, 2020 from 4 to 7 p.m. at Sampson’s Chapel of the Acres, 21 Tinkham Rd, Springfield, MA 01129. A Funeral Service will be held on Saturday, February 1, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. in St. Cecilia’s Church, 42 Main St, Wilbraham, MA 01095. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Ed’s memory may be made to Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, 4000 Morikami Park Road, Delray Beach, FL 33446.
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