Mary Elizabeth (Whelan) Binnebose
Oct. 18, 1917 — Feb. 17, 2018
Mary Elizabeth “May” or “Mae” (Whelan) Binnebose, 100, made her peaceful journey to heaven on Saturday morning, February 17, 2018, in the comfort of her home in Watertown.
May was born on October 18, 1917, in Montclair, N.J., to her parents, Phillip and Nora (O’Brien) Whelan. A job transfer with Carnation brought the Whelan family to Oconomowoc. May attended Miss Brown’s Business School and after enjoying a professional life at Carnation and in New York City, she married Gustave Binnebose of Wisconsin Rapids in May 1941 and began her adventure as a Navy wife. Never one to meet a stranger, May made friends across the globe, wherever their family was stationed. Until her last days, she was still telling tales of her travels. May’s faith was incredibly important to her, as was her large family. Upon her mother’s death in 1971, May assumed the role of matriarch of the Whelan clan and has ensured for the last 46 years that her Irish heritage was acknowledged and that the family gathers each July, a tradition which will no doubt continue in honor of both Nora and May. In addition, May was a member of the Catholic Women’s Club of Watertown, Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary, American Legion Post 189 and the Watertown Moose Club.
May is survived by three siblings, Phillip “Bud” (Mary) Whelan (AZ), Dorothy “Dody” (Bob) Sadler (WI) and John “Jack” (Sharon) Whelan (WI); five children, Ron Binnebose (WI), Donna Hart (TX), Kathy (Rick) Patten (ID), Mary Gail (Ken) Tucker (AR) and Debra (Jose) Arzaga (NV); six grandchildren, Steph Hart, Jay Binnebose, Maral Binnebose, Jason (Nicole) Patten, Jennifer (Tony) Williams and Megan Arzaga; four great-grandchildren, Michael, Rio, Corbin and Ian (and one on the way); and many cherished nieces, nephews, and greats in the Whelan and Binnebose families all of whom loved their “Aunt May.”
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Gustave; her first son, Gregory; six siblings: brothers Eugene, Earl, William and Robert Whelan, and sisters Joan Williams and Shirley Ceithamer; sisters-in-law, Dorothy and Marian Whelan; brothers-in-law, Alan Williams and Ken Ceithamer; as well as several nieces and nephews.
In celebration of May’s 100 years of life, a wake will be held Friday, February 23, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Hafemeister Funeral Home, 611 E. Main St., Watertown. A Mass of Christian burial will be at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 24, at St. Jerome Catholic Church, 995 S. Silver Lake St., Oconomowoc. A light lunch will be served at the church afterward, followed by a 3:45 p.m. procession to St. Jerome Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Rainbow Hospice, to the Endowment Funds of St. Bernard’s Catholic Church in Watertown or St. Jerome’s Catholic Church in Oconomowoc, or to the charity of one’s choice.
Hafemeister Funeral Home and Cremation Service, 920-261-2218, is serving the family. Online condolences are welcomed at www.hafemeisterfh.com.