John Whalen Obituary, Death – He was born on August 23, 1942, and raised in Philipse Manor in North Tarrytown, New York, with substantial New York Irish connections. He attended Archbishop Stepinac High School, St. Anselm College, and the University of New Hampshire before graduating from the latter. He married his high school sweetheart, Susan Whalen (Weeks), and they were married for 61 years. He committed his professional career to service others in accordance with his Catholic beliefs.
He worked for Greenwich Public Schools, where he held roles at Western Junior High School and Greenwich High School, where he was the Director of Guidance for many years. He assisted innumerable students in navigating the struggles of adolescence and giving voice to those who felt silenced. He offered support to those who didn’t feel seen and made certain that every kid was handled with decency. He was a driving force behind the establishment of the fifth house, Cantor House, at Greenwich High School, as well as the Greenwich High School Senior Internship Program, which became a model for other school districts.
In 2002, he got the Greenwich Public Schools Distinguished Teacher Award in recognition of his outstanding efforts. John believed in civic duty and volunteered on numerous community groups and boards dedicated to solving mental health issues for students and their families. He was a long-time Cos Cob resident who served on the RTM numerous times and was involved on the Greenwich Democratic Town Committee.
John led a kind, honest, and humble life. He had an uncanny capacity to feel when people needed comfort or advice and to deliver just the right words of wisdom, generally laced with comedy, at just the appropriate time. He will be deeply missed as a role model and inspiration. He cared deeply for his family. He is survived by his wife, Susan, two beloved daughters, Gwyneth Whalen of Boulder, Colorado, and Megan Whalen Fernandez of Park City, Utah; his sons-in-law, Michael Cronley and Leroy Fernandez; and four cherished grandchildren, Isabelle Fernandez, Portia Fernandez, Henry Cronley, and Grace Cronley. He was also a big fan of his Spaniels, Molly, Katie, and Emmy.
Five sisters and three brothers survive John. He is extremely grateful for the presence of his sister Suzanne in his life, as well as his great friend Brenda Friedler. His brother, Xavier Whalen, predeceased him. The family would like to thank Drs. Liu and Edelman for their skill and incredible kindness. The family is especially grateful to Karen McHawley and their Field Road friends and neighbors.