January 25, 1928 ~ March 12, 2005
Francis J. (Frank) Whalen Francis J. Whalen, 77, of Hamden, CT, died Saturday after a long illness. He died at home surrounded by family and friends. He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth (Betty) Parmelee Whalen, they celebrated fifty years of marriage Febuary 19, he is also survived by 3 daughters, Beverly Whalen Davidson (Robert) of Glastonbury, Laura Whalen Wrinn (Michael) of Norwalk, CT, Kathryn Regina Whalen of Hamden, CT and 1 son, Matthew W. Whalen (Laurie) of Hamden, CT; a brother, Patrick J. Whalen (Shirley) of Cheshire, CT, a sister, Mary Jane Whalen Simonello (Roger) of Tucson, AZ and nine grandchildren, Corey and Shaun Wrinn of Norwalk, CT, Erika and Bethany Potenziani of Hamden, Jake and Emily Whalen of Hamden, Clayton and Randy Davidson of Ellington, CT and Ashley Davidson Hughson of New Jersey. Born in New Haven, January 25, 1928, he was the son of the late Patrick and Regina Whalen of Ansonia, CT. He was employed at the New Haven Register for 31 years, retireing in 1981 as the Sunday Editor. He continued his writing after his retirement with various publications and corporations. He served as Assistant to Mayor Peter Villano in Hamden during the 80's. He spent the remaining years freelance writing and enjoying his grandchildren and the Boston Red Sox. Mr. Whalen was a 1945 graduate of Ansonia High School and received a degree in Journalism from Quinnipiac College in Hamden. He served in the Marine Corps during WWII and the Korean Conflict with the intelligence unit, he received an honorable discharge as a sergant. During his time with the New Haven Register he was Police and Fire Reporter, City Editor and Sunday Editor. He served as toastmaster for numerous charitble events in and around New Haven. He was a member of the Pyramid Club, The New Haven Boys Club, the Marine Corps League and the North End Boys, he was an honorary member of the Bluejay Drivers Surface club, the Newhallville-Shelton Ends Association and the County Detectives Association. He served as a coach and commissioner in Hamden Fathers Baseball. He received numerous awards, citations and commendations during his lifetime. He was named ''Man of the Year'' by the New Haven Register Fresh Air Fund, his dedication to the Fresh Air fund was a ''personal campaign'' according to former New Haven mayor Dick Lee in 1979. He organized and oversaw the annual benefit ''Drum Corps Show'' in the 60's and 70's. The Drum Corps shows featured the Connecticut Hurricanes with all proceeds going to the Fresh Air Fund, which made it possible for inner city children to attend summer camps. Mr. Whalen recived the prestigious ''Gold Ring'' award from the New Haven Boys Club in 1979. According to the Boys Club he received this award due to his efforts in ''promoting, conducting, organizing or assisting in programs beneficial to the youth of greater New Haven. During the 1960's he worked closely with Chales (Charlie) McQueeny, then managing editor of the New Haven Register. After Mr. McQueeny's retirement in 1973, Mr. Whalen assumed the responsibilities for directing many of the Fresh Air Funds Projects, all the time instilling the importance of charitable work in his own children by using them as volunteers at various events. His other accomplishments are too numerous to mention, but he gave of himself tirelessly to the community. Mr. Whalen was a lifelong avid, often rabid fan of the Boston Red Sox. His dedication to the team was above reproach, according to an article published in the New Haven Register in 1955, the only thing more important to him was his wife, this may or may not have changed after the birth of his children. Many of his grandchildren, conducting scientific research or working on a school project, asked him about all the things he had seen in his life. His response was not always the same, man on the moon, JFK, television, all answers which varied from time to time. The question of what he has not seen was standard and never changed, The Red Sox winning a World Series. After he was diagnosed with Progressive Supernuclear Palsy in 2003, he swore in a conversation with his son that he would stay alive until the Red Sox won a World Series. True to his form and dedication to his favorite baseball team he did just that. The night the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004, he was home with his wife, as ill as he felt, he stayed awake to see the final out. The night he passed away he again was true to his form and his dedication to his family, he stayed long enough for all of his family to be by his side and say goodbye, one last selfless act by a truely selfless man. Semper Fi! Funeral from BEECHER & BENNETT, 2300 WHITNEY AVE., HAMDEN, Wed., March 16th at 9:45 AM. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in St. Rita Church, Hamden at 10:30 AM. Friends may call Tues. from 4-8 PM. Interment will be in Pine Grove Cemetery, Ansonia. Memorial Contributions may be sent to Hospice Home Care, 110 Barnes Rd., Wallingford, CT 06492, or to the New Haven Register Fresh Air Fund, in care of the New Haven Register or St. Rita Church, 1620 Whitney Ave., Hamden, CT 06517.