SGM (Ret.) Michael Francis Whalen
February 11, 1952 – September 8, 2020
SGM (Ret.) Michael Francis Whalen 02/11/1952-09/08/2020
Mike was born in Buffalo, NY on February 11, 1952. He was a bit wild in high school and followed in his Father’s footsteps, joining the US Army as a Paratrooper in the 101st Airborne Division. He served his country and its people with distinction and honor for almost 30 years, highly decorated and a hero in every sense of the word. He would always say he served so others did not have to do so.
He married his high school sweetheart, Nancy Linnan, on April 24, 1971, he lived his life completely devoted to her. Traveling around the world and the US in the military, Mike and Nancy raised two children, Frank and Allison. Upon retiring, Mike and Nancy settled in Georgia after living in multiple cities in eight states.
Mike believed in living his life in service to others, both in the Army and long afterwards. He was always generous and kind, and would go above and beyond to help those in need. An animal lover, he and Nancy took in pets in need and gave them good lives to live with lots of love.
He is survived by his devoted wife, Nancy; their rescued fur baby, Chloe; his loving children, Frank and his wife, Haylee, and Allison and her husband, Dan; granddaughters, Julia, Sofie, and Ava (of whom he was extraordinarily proud), a granddaughter-to-be, Daisy, who will always know of the greatness of her dearly departed grandfather; and nephew, Brian and his wife, Lisa.
Mike Whalen lived a great life and raised the bar by always leading by example. He was welcomed home by his Heavenly Father on September 8, 2020, a good and faithful servant to the Lord. He will be greatly missed by all who were privileged to know him, leaving this world a far better place than he found it.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
SGM (Ret.) Michael Francis Whalen
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September 16, 2020
While I don’t have the words to express my grief, I want to tell you about the man I knew.
He served in the US Army for 30 years. Sergeant Major, Paratrooper, Medic, Tank Commander, an expert Marksman in every weapon he touched. There were many other things I couldn’t know about and a few that I found out on my own. As I went through his commendations, his awards, plaques, medals, certificates, letters and ribbons, I was reminded that he dedicated a great deal of his life to serving others. He saved lives outside of the call of duty, including my own. Always giving, always kind. Despite the commitment to our country, he always had time for his family. In fact, I don’t recall feeling like I shared him at all because he was always there for me.
My father taught me how to be a man by example. He was quietly powerful, a massive presence. I saw deference and respect when anyone spoke with him, not because he demanded it but because he deserved it and you knew that immediately. I saw him once bring an abuser to tears with a few softly spoken words. He was so powerful.
He laughed loud and often. He was proudly Irish and loved traditions. He could be the life of the party or enjoy watching others having fun. He lit up whenever my mother was around and anytime he spoke of her. He adored her and taught me the power of loving wholly. He was the best father imaginable and he and my mother raised my sister to be equally powerful and indomitable. He loved his granddaughters and great granddaughters so much that he would brag about how lucky he was. We were the lucky ones, to be so loved, protected and cared for so selflessly and completely.
If you knew my Dad, you know these things to be true. If you didn’t know him, I assure you, he cared about you and was happy to be a part of keeping you safe, keeping you free.
If you’re the praying sort, please pray for us during this time. Have a drink, toast my father, my hero, my best friend.
September 14, 2020
I was lucky enough to meet Mr. Whalen (and yes, he will always be Mr. Whalen to me) through his son Frank, who got me into hockey in high school -- which I guess really means that Mr. Whalen got me into hockey, one of many blessings I got from knowing this man. He was mildly terrifying when I first met him, clearly someone you didn't want to mess with (hence the "Mr. Whalen"), but also a man with a truly kind and generous heart who would do anything for the people he cared about, especially his wife and kids. He always welcomed all of us into his home (no matter how obnoxious we were), always had a joke and a belly laugh to go with it, and usually a good-natured dig or two to make sure you didn't get too big for your britches. Most of all, he was clearly, from the moment I first met him, a man of great integrity, respected and beloved by everyone around him. All of my love and sympathy to his family and friends for one of our world's bright lights, gone out too soon.
September 11, 2020
I first met Mike through Frank in 1989. He took me under his wing like a second father. And that's how he always was for me, another dad. He was kind, quick with a Dad joke, and always ready to go the extra mile for friends and especially family. The world is a sadder place having lost home, but I am a far better man for having known him.
September 10, 2020
Dad, you were the standard I’d hold all other men to and what a high bar it was. You were everything a girl could want in a father, and I am so glad you were mine. How proud I am to be your daughter and how grateful I am for every moment we had. I love you forever. - your little girl