Obituary of Thomas Gerard Whelan
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Passed peacefully away and “promoted to glory” on 24th February 2021 from his home in St John’s, “TG”, Thomas Gerard Whelan 3rd, P.Eng., (retired) born in Jerseyside, Placentia, Newfoundland 1931.
Following a rewarding and productive life Tom leaves with enduring memories his wife Fiona (nee O’Shea) and their family: daughter, Maureen (John), son, Chris (Heather), step son, Robert (Angel); grandchildren Maria (Paul), Laura (Dean) and their mother Isabel (nee Farrell), step grand-daughters, Melanie and Amanda, step grand-son, Anthony; great grandson Max; great granddaughter, Anna; sister, Ella Nesdoly (Eli, deceased); sister-in-law Brigid, brothers in law Ciaran (Laura), Brendan (Corinna); well as many nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, neighbors, colleagues and contemporaries across the world.
Tom is predeceased by his parents, Annie (nee Hunt) and Raymond Whelan; wife, Angela (nee, Puddister), brothers: Bert, John (Joan nee Nash) and Fred (Augusta, deceased); parents in-law Ellen O’ Flynn and Patrick J.O’Shea, as well as nephews Evan and Brendan.
Tom was a true son of Newfoundland and Labrador. His contributions to his beloved province were many and meaningful. Tom came to St. Bonaventure’s College in St. John’s from Jerseyside as a scholarship student. He graduated from Nova Scotia Technical College, as a Civil Engineer (1956). Having survived Tuberculosis and a year in the Sanitorium, Tom went on to work with the Provincial Government, Department of Public Works, as Manager of Construction and Engineering for the Province. This included responsibility for major marine projects, highway projects and project management of the Oil Refinery Terminal Warf at Come-By-Chance. Subsequently Tom served as Deputy Minister of Transportation and Deputy Minister of Public Works with the Federal Government where he was responsible for the design, construction and operation of government buildings. In the latter half of his career Tom became the first Newfoundlander to serve as President and CEO of the Marystown Shipyard where he was responsible for the production of 20 new vessels and ongoing repairs to existing vessels. In 1990 he was seconded by the Minister of Energy as Senior Policy Advisor in the Hibernia negotiations. In 1992 Tom had responsibility for the planning and construction of the Cow Head Offshore Fabrication Facility. Tom retired in 1993 but not before he enjoyed heading up his own consulting firm “T.G. Whelan Associates” and working with companies of his choice like McNamara Construction etc.
Tom served as an Honorary Colonel of the 56th Squadron Field Engineers, NL., and was a recipient of the Award of Merit, PEGNL 2006.
He was inconspicuous and generous with his experience and wisdom mentoring young men and women to obtain work and advance in their careers. He volunteered with The Salvation Army Grace Hospital Board for many years and Meals on Wheels
Tom was a prolific reader, patient angler, dog whisperer, carpenter, seafarer, gardener, snowmobiler and golfer (Bally Hally, the Old Pippy Nine and the McKelvey UnClassic). An accomplished mariner, his favourite times were spent visiting Placentia Bay’s resettled islands on his boat, with Fiona and their two Labrador retrievers.
Tom was highly intelligent, witty, irreverent, loyal and possessed a questionable taste in music. He was a true Master of the “One Liners”. He enjoyed having spirited debates with family, friends and his children’s friends on politics, religion, or any other topic that caught his fancy.
Tom has a great network of friends who have been with him for many adventures throughout the years. His wisdom, kindness and wit will be missed.
As per Tom’s wishes, cremation has taken place.
Funeral Mass will take place at Sacred Heart Church, Placentia on Tuesday August 17, 2021 at 10:30.
Inurnment to take place in the Roman Catholic Cemetery, Placentia