Kenneth P. Whalen
September 02, 1952 ‒ August 16, 2018
Kenneth P. Whalen – husband, dad, “pops”, and “pa-paw” – passed away on Thursday, August 16th at 3:35 PM following an extended illness.
Kenny, as he was known by friends and family, was born in Renous, New Brunswick in Canada on September 2, 1952 to William and Mary Whalen, both now gone.
A year later, Kenny and family moved to Marion, where he spent the rest of his life. Two brothers – Dean and Terry – and a sister – Carleen – had all passed previously.
He was a 1971 graduate of Marion Catholic High School. Later that year, he went to work for the city of Marion with his father. He worked in the sanitation and streets departments before driving a MAT bus until his final retirement in 2009.
Kenny met the love of his life Helen Funk in 1983, marrying her that year on September 3rd. They would renew their vows on June 13th, 2008. Also that year, he formally adopted Helen’s two children from previous relationships – Robert Whalen and Scarlet (James) Warren. A year later, the two had a second daughter LaToya (Kris) Toland.
Outside of family – which was always Kenny’s #1 priority – his proudest accomplishment was becoming a US citizen on November 15, 1996.
Kenny loved to read, especially westerns, science fiction, and fantasy. He liked movies (westerns, action, and science fiction) and television (NCIS, CSI, Chicago PD, and Blue Bloods). Before his illness, he enjoyed traveling and eating out, considering a good steak the best way to spend money on food. He also greatly enjoyed doing Karaoke with Helen and numerous friends at the Shovel Restaurant, American Legion Post 162, and the Marion Moose Lodge #889.
More recently, Kenny could be found stretched out on his couch, sipping some cold Big Red pop, reading a William Johnstone western, and scratching his dachshund Yoshi behind the ears. Kenny’s favorite activity, however, was being surrounded by his grandkids, which he had 12: Ike, Lena, Robbie, Quinn, Bryan, Olivia, Victoria, Jacob, Isaiah, Patsy, JJ, and Patrick. Some were born into the family, some were adopted into it, but he loved each and everyone the same.
The family encourages donations and support to Heartland Hospice. Because of people like Pam, Emily, and Jennifer, the family got an extra 10 months with Kenny. Instead of flowers, the family encourages everyone to take the time and tell those close to them how much they are loved, read a book to their kids, cuddle with their wife or husband, and get out and enjoy life today.
A memorial service will be Sunday, September 2, 2018 at Snyder Funeral Homes, DENZER Chapel, 360 East Center St., Marion at 2PM.
The Snyder Funeral Homes of Marion are honored to be serving the Whalen family; condolences may be expressed to the family by visiting www.SnyderFuneralHomes.com