Uncle Harry died on Sunday, May 31, 2015
The celebration of his life with the Rosary Monday night June 22nd St. Denis church in Menlo Park 7pm and the Memorial Service is Tuesday the 23rd at 1 pm St Denis Church with a reception … following the mass.
Harry Gabriel Whelan, M.D.
June 3, 1922 – May 31, 2015
Resident of Menlo Park
Harry Gabriel Whelan, MD, lovingly called “Chief” by his family and friends passed away on Sunday, May 31, 2015, three days shy of his 93rd birthday. A third generation San Franciscan, he was born to Harry and Ruth Degnan Whelan on June 3, 1922, and moved with his family in 1926 to Atherton, CA, where he grew up. He attended St. Joseph’s School, Bellarmine College Prep and graduated from Stanford University in 1943. After college he entered Loyola Medical School (now Stritch School of Medicine) in Chicago, IL, as a naval midshipman graduating in 1947. While in Chicago he met his beloved wife, Joanne “Jodie” Roberts of Wichita, KS whom he married on November 3, 1948. Harry did his medical internship at Stanford’s San Francisco hospital in 1947 and his residency in San Diego, CA from 1948 to 1952. During the Korean War he was a Captain in the U.S. Army Medical Corps stationed at Fort Lawton Hospital in Seattle, WA. In 1955, he and Jodie moved their young family to Menlo Park. He practiced general and colon-rectal surgery in Palo Alto, CA from 1955 until his retirement in 1992. During that time he also served as an Associate Clinical Professor of Surgery at Stanford University Hospital.
Harry was a member of the Menlo Circus Club, Menlo Country Club, Profits Unlimited, and the Common Sense Club. He loved the game of tennis and for decades played twice weekly. He also enjoyed golfing, gardening, skiing, playing bridge, traveling with Jodie and their friends and spending time every summer at his family cabin in Clear Lake. He had many hobbies during his lifetime including photography, wine-making, sailing and tutoring his children and grandchildren in math.
Chief was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Jodie, and daughter, Sally, his brothers John “Jack” Whelan and Joe Whelan and sister, Alice “Sis” Lussier. He leaves his sons, Gabe (Harry G. III) (Debbie) Whelan and Robert (Linda) Whelan and daughters, Anne (Steve) Englert, Pat (Phil) McDonnell, Mary (Steve) O’Neill and Sophie (David) Kirk, thirteen grandchildren, Jennifer (Josh) Alfaro, Harry IV, Natalie and Abby Whelan, Steve, Sophia, Hilary and Bobbie Englert, Philip (Kate Libby) McDonnell and Erin (Jake) Foxcurran, Lauren O’Neill, Libby and Laura Kirk and two great-grandchildren, Dylan Alfaro and Ellie Foxcurran. The family is grateful to Tenisi Guttenbeil, Chief’s wonderful caregiver, for her help in making the last four years of his life more comfortable and joyful.
A Rosary will be said for Chief on Monday, June 22 at 7 pm at St. Denis Church, 2250 Avy Avenue, Menlo Park. A Funeral Mass will be held on Tuesday, June 23 at 1 pm at St. Denis Church. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Family Service Agency of San Mateo County.
Published in San Jose Mercury News/San Mateo County Times on June 14, 2015