James Edwards Whelan ’44
SACO – Dr. J. Edward Whelan, 92, a lifelong resident of Biddeford-Saco, former mayor of Saco and proud father and grandfather, died on June 4, 2015.
Born in Biddeford on Dec. 8, 1922 to M. Harry and Cecelia Cleary Whelan he graduated from St. Mary’s School, Biddeford High School and Maine Maritime Academy. He received his doctorate from Massachusetts College of Optometry in 1948.
In 1950, he married Lorraine E. Turcotte of Cape Elizabeth. They recently celebrated their 65tth wedding anniversary.
Dr. Whelan practiced optometry in Biddeford for 47 years. In 1984, his daughter, Dr. Janet Whelan joined him, and they worked together for 11 years before his retirement in 1995.
He served as mayor of Saco from 1963 through 1964.
Dr Whelan discovered golf at an early age when he became a caddy master at the Abenakee Golf Club in Biddeford Pool. He was a longtime member of the Biddeford-Saco Country Club.
He was especially grateful for the training he received at Maine Maritime Academy and proud of his service during World War II, when he sailed all over the world to help protect his country.
In addition to his wife, Lorraine, Dr. Whelan is survived by four daughters, Micki, Sara, Janet (and son-in-law Mark Belliveau) and Lisa, and one son, Jamie (and daughter-in-law Dr. Renee Caron Whelan); his grandchildren Ryan Edward Whelan, Grace Caron Whelan, Simon Whelan Belliveau and Ella Whelan Anderson; and several nieces and nephews. He also leaves behind his best friend of 87 years, Joseph Grondin. He was pre-deceased by his brother John Maurice Whelan, his sister Margaret Lafond; and his son-in-law Robert Anderson.
The family thanks VNA Home Health Hospice for their kind and compassionate care.
In keeping with Dr. Whelan’s wishes, there will be no visiting hours or funeral service. A private service will take place at a later date at Laurel Hill Cemetery. Dennett, Craig & Pate 365 Main St, Saco are in charge of the arrangements.
Should friends desire, donations may be made to:
The Saco Food Pantry
PO Box 246
Saco Maine 04072