Virginia L. Whelan entered into her heavenly home on Tuesday, July 4, 2017, at the age of 93.
A lifelong resident of Waukesha, she was born to Dorothy (nee Bancroft) and Leo Fohey on January 26, 1924. She was the loving sister to Gloria Messer, Jane Koeppen, Lois Scheets and Jerome Fohey, all of whom have preceded her in death.
She was the wife of the late Dr. Edward Whelan, a Waukesha chiropractor, musician, founder and bandleader of the “Top Hatters Orchestra” until his death in 1967.
She was the dearest mother of son Thomas Whelan (Linda), daughter Marsha (Patrick Cullinane) and son Lee Whelan. She was a loving grandmother to Shaun Cullinane (Taira), and is also fondly remembered by many nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.
In her younger years, Virginia worked as a clerk at Lady Lynn’s Dress Shop, was employed during the war years at the Universal Milking Machine Company, and then worked as a stenographer for the Michael Youndt Co. before she was married in 1947.
During her marriage, she was devoted to her husband and children and cared deeply for her parents, brother, sisters and extended family. Visits to her home, especially at Christmas, with her beautifully decorated tree and plates of homemade Christmas cookies, were anticipated by family and friends each year.
She truly enjoyed the times she spent dancing with her husband as they listened to live “big band music” in Milwaukee. She was a lover of music, theater, decorating, gardening and books, and was known for the lovely hats she wore whether she was at church, out for dinner or gardening in her yard. She wore them with pride and pleasure throughout her life.
When she was suddenly widowed at 45 years of age, she lovingly raised their three children on her own and overcame many challenges to take on her husband’s business responsibilities, which included managing two small rental properties. She could often be seen on a summer evening wearing her favorite gardening hat, pruning, weeding and grooming the grounds at her building on Grand Avenue in Waukesha. She was an excellent hedge trimmer! She proudly and happily performed all of these tasks well into her 80s.
She was truly a loving and supportive mother to her children and family and was kind to all who had the pleasure to meet her. She will forever be deeply missed and fondly remembered.
The family would like to thank the caregivers and staff at ManorCare who gave their special attention, affection and smiles to Virginia. They would also like to express their gratitude to AngelsGrace Hospice for the compassionate care and support they gave Virginia in her final months.
Private funeral services will be held. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations would be appreciated to the Alzheimer’s Association of Southeastern Wisconsin, www.alz.org/sewi/.
Church and Chapel Rudolph-Larsen Bros. Funeral Home is serving the family. For more information, call 262-549-0659 or visit www.churchandchapel.com to view the online obituary, leave condolences or receive directions.
“If love and prayers can carry one to heaven, we know the angels have brought you safely home to God and the family that you missed so dearly.”
“Those we love are only a thought away, for as long as we hold their memory, they live in our hearts each day.”