Robert P. "Bob" Whalen, 87, of Canton & Parishville
Mr. Robert P. "Bob" Whalen, 87, of 16 Farmer St., Canton and 1118 Racquette River Rd., Parishville passed away very unexpectedly in a snowmobile accident on Monday night March 6, 2013.
Arrangements are with the O'Leary and Lawrence Funeral Homes in Canton.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, March 9, 2013 at St. Patrick's Church in Colton with Rev. Douglas Lucia and Rev. Raymond Moreau co-officiating.
Friends may call at the O'Leary Funeral Home in Canton Friday afternoon between 1:00 and 3:00 p.m. or in the evening from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
When snowmobiling was invented in the 1960's he embraced it immediately and purchased one of the early Bombardier snow sleds. He wasted no time sharing his new found hobby with everyone in the neighborhood and anyone else who was interested. Later he became a fan of four-wheeling and enjoyed many hours on the trails with friends. Later in life he lived on Rainbow Reservoir in Parishville to be on the water and close to the trails.
He returned home to finish high school and then go on to earn a degree in Electrical Engineering from Canton ATI in 1949. It was there that he met two men destined to become lifelong friends, Dick Miller and Peter Nevaldine and eventually Peter's wife Carolyn and their three daughters.
Together Bob and Betty raised six children while building their business and working hard in the community. Mr. Whalen was a member of the Lions Club all his life and both he and Mrs. Whalen spent many hours working on Lions Club fund raisers especially the popular Minstrel Shows in the 1950's.
They were active in the American Legion and supporters of the drive to build the E.J. Noble Hospital in Canton where their first daughter was the second baby born there after it's completion. They were faithful communicants of St. Mary's Church and supporters of St. Mary's School.
He was a charter member of the Grasse River Investment Club. Mr. Whalen joined the Middle Branch of the Stillwater Club in 1955 when his father Charles was still an active member there. He remained a loyal member of the Stillwater Club being their oldest and longest member. Later in life he joined the Weller Mountain Club and there found a wealth of wonderful new friends and the camaraderie of many men and women with similar interests.
Mr. Whalen was a firm believer in the Wilbert company and served many years on the Wilbert Manufacturing Association Board as a representative of his District's Licensee Network and then later for ten years on the Wilbert, Inc. Board of Directors in Chicago.
He was recognized for his astute business and financial acumen by all who had the good fortune to serve with him during those years. Mr. Whalen's partner retired in 1991 but he stayed on actively working in the business and serving as President of the board of directors encompassing a career of nearly 65 years of dedication to a work he loved.
Mr. Whalen also served 27 years on the board of directors of the Canton Savings and Loan which during his tenure on the Board saw the bank grow into the Canton Federal Savings & Loan and it's current entity as North Country Savings Bank. First appointed to the Board in 1969 he served faithfully until his last official meeting on January 16, 1996 being the Annual Meeting which he presided over as Chairman of the Board. He continued on as an Emeritus Director until June 22, 2004. He enjoyed his many years on the board and enduring friendships with Walt Leonard, Jack Merrill and their wives and later Dave Swanson as well as many others.
Condolences may be shared with the family online at www.olearyfuneralservice.com.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013, Watertown, NY
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