Thomas H. Whalen, 70, passed away 4:55 a.m. Friday, May 30, 2014 at his residence.Born on May 4, 1944 in Belleville, he was the son of Benjamin and Katherine (Epple) Whalen.A U.S. Air Force veteran, he had been a firefighter for the City of Wood River 24 years before retiring in 1993. He served as the school saftey instructor during "Fire Prevention Week", mixing education and magic to instruct the children; he was a past member of the Madison County Fireman's Association and Wood River American Legion Post. Tom enjoyed woodworking and various arts and crafts.On February 24, 1968 in Alton, he married the former Judith Venhaus. She survives.Surviving also are two daughters, Dawn R. Whalen and Christine Whalen both of Wood River; three beloved, grandchildren, Andrew Joseph Whalen Bregenzer, Parker Whalen Shelton, Reece Thomas Shelton; a brother, David Richard 'Rick' Whalen of St. Louis; brother-in-law, Thomas (Carole) Venhaus of Iowa Falls, TX; sister-in-law, Teresa (Steve) Schenk of Brighton; and nephew, Aaron (Sharon) Whalen.Visitation will be from 4 p.m until time of service at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Marks Mortuary in Wood River. Father Dave Yankauskas, OMV will officiate.Memorials may be made to the 5 A's Animal Shelter in Alton or Heartland Hospice.
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