Walter was born in Boston, Massachusetts on June 8, 1938, to G. Walter Whalen and Julia Frances (Nelson). He is survived by his wife, Jeannie (Lewis), of Phoenix, AZ, to whom he was married for twenty-four years and his sister, Kathleen Kenney (Boston), widow of Robert. He was blessed with three children, all of whom reside in Massachusetts. Cindy Hernan (Jack), Kathy Whalen and G. Walter Whalen III (Kelley Doyle). He was the proud grandfather of Payton and Hannah Whalen, Matthew and Christopher Hernan and Tatum Whalen Swanson. He also has three step grandchildren, Peyton, Lila and Gus Belsher. Walter previously was married to the late Ann (Richmond).
In 1957, Walter graduated from Milton High School, Milton, Massachusetts, where he excelled in athletics as captain of the football team and as state champion in track and field, setting numerous state records. He is a member of Milton High School’s student-athlete Hall of Fame.
Walter graduated from Boston College in 1962, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree. Following his graduation, Walter served as a Lieutenant JG in the U.S. Navy, performing a wide range of duties including leadership roles aboard the U.S.S. Albany.
Walter went on to a distinguished career at Xerox Corporation where he was consistently the leading salesman. Walter then worked as Branch Manager at A.B. Dick Company’s Profit Center, ultimately purchasing A.B. Dick Company of Eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island, where he tripled the business each year of his ownership.
In 1993, Walter moved to Arizona to become Executive Director of International Business Products, a billion-dollar buying group.
In 1996, Walter and Jeannie made Phoenix, AZ their home, where Walter then recognized the opportunity in the housing boom and embarked upon a career in real estate.
Earlier in his life, Walter was an avid adventurist who enjoyed skiing, sky diving and time on the ocean boating and fishing. Later in life, Walter cultivated interests in painting, traveling and reading. A sport fan always, he loved the New England Patriots and followed a variety of college football teams. Walter dearly loved his Golden Retrievers Casey and Zoe and trained and registered them as therapy pets at Gabriel’s Angels, a nonprofit organization with a mission of coaching pets to provide healing therapy to at-risk children.
While he endured many health-related challenges in his later years, Walter fought bravely with dignity and grace. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, no services will be held in Phoenix. There will, however, be a celebration of life service in Boston at a later date. To preserve his legacy of compassion and care for animals, the family is asking that any tax free donations in Walter’s memory be made to Gabriel’s Angels, 727 Bethany Home Road, Suite C-100, Phoenix, Arizona 85014, through its website, www.gabrielsangels.org.
We’d lost a terrific guy! Walter had class, style and was sincerely interested in others. He took such a liking to my boys , always asking about their adventures and achievements. I loved talking about art with him and enjoyed looking at his beautiful paintings.
Always a gentleman I will miss him. Jeannie I admire your loyalty and care for Walter during his illness. May his memory be eternal.
Love, your cousin Chris
Andy and Marilyn Fotis
Wonderful man who had an amazing life. So happy to have met him and we have great memories . Sending love to you Jeannie and all the family, Andy, Marilyn, Koula, Coco and Abby
Walter, we were very sorry to hear of your loss. Our sincere condolences to you, your children and your family.
Bruce and Sandy Tuthill
Jeanne, Sorry for the loss of your husband, Walter. Our condolences to you and Walter’s family. May his memory be eternal in all your hearts.
Regards, Olga & Chuck Piandes
I know you miss him terribly and, wow, what a lifetime Walter led!
We first met in Milton in the early fifties. We were both discus throwers, he the much better athlete. We’d travel to meets far and wide, along with John Clasby. Inevitably. Walter would win but be so gracious and fun-loving that we three would be invited to whatever party was planned by athletes we had never met before. Handsome Walter had this impish smile and a giggle that sounded like a frog trying to hit a high note. The summer of ’60, he played touch football at the Kennedy compound in Hyannis. He was invited as a ringer to help Jack’s team beat Bobby’s team. Walter told me he tried to play just well enough to keep the game even, hoping someone would invite him to stay overnight. (That part didn’t work out, so he drove back to my house in Scituate.)
Walter always wanted me to study with him and help him with his essays. He’d be diligent for about 45 minutes, then declare he was bored and off we’d go to some event. Winters we drove to Killington, Stowe and even Montreal for three-day skiing (and parties, of course.)
I always thought Walter should have been the mayor of Boston. His positive disposition, his natural ease with people of all social strata and his genuine concern for others made him a natural. He was handsome, charming and an extraordinary athlete. Yet he was modest, unassuming and fun. I cannot think of my friend Walter without smiling.
The resurrection is a mystery. But Jeannie, I believe you will see Walter again. His spirit is effervescent.
Nick & Jeni Mourton
I’m so sorry for your loss Jeannie. Walter was definitely one of the good guys. I remember coming to Phoenix and spending time with him – such a guy’s guy and full of energy.
A kind, accomplished man. He had a full life and was loved by many people.
My condolences to you Jeannie and to the rest of the family.
We will always remember Walter’s kind and generous soul and his instinct with animals. We often thought of him as the “dog whisperer.” We will miss seeing him walking Zoe around the neighborhood. He was always ready for a conversation.
During the winter holidays, Walter would tell us how much he enjoyed our Christmas lights. This year and beyond, we will turn on the lights in Walter’s memory.
May his vibrant spirit live on in your heart and the hearts of his children and grandchildren.
With loving thoughts and memories,
Sandy & Geoff