My brother-in-law John Michael “Mike” Whalen died on Sunday, losing a 10-year battle to the terrible Alzheimer’s disease. No one can win this one despite modern medical treatment. His family cared for him the whole time while physically able and stayed with him until his death-whenever listless end-care establishment bureaucrats permitted. Institutions failed him but his family did not. Finally rest for Mike and his family.
I never had a favorite brother-in-law, all of them were and are fine men, and family to me in law but also in fact. When we were poor with a new baby we lived with Tom and Alma in Louisville.
But Mike was the easiest to know and to love. Soft-spoken and low key, with his father’s dry humor, he really listened to you when you talked to him and he seemed to care more for others than for himself.
When he was healthy he was the center of his family, devoting much of his time to coaching his own children and others. Probably more people knew him as “Coach” than as John, Mike or Michael. He was loved by nearly everyone who knew him and he will be sorely missed. At bottom is the obituary Mindon wrote for him from the funeral home website. Visit them and leave a comment if you knew him.
John Michael “Mike” Whalen, 62, of Louisville, passed away Sunday, December 20, 2015.
Mike retired from Citizens Security as a systems analyst, coached softball for many years at Jeffersontown Little League, and was a graduate of DeSales High School and UofL.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Thomas and Alma Whalen; brother, Jimmy Whalen and nephew, Robby Johnson.
He is survived by his loving wife, the former Karen Simpson; son, Joseph Whalen; daughter, Mindon Laue (Eric); twin brother, Thomas Whalen; sisters, Mary Claire Counselman (Bill) and Kathleen Johnson; his sister-in-law who helped take care of him, Rebecca Simpson; and many beloved nieces and nephews.
His funeral service will be at 1 p.m. Wednesday, December 23 at Highlands Funeral Home, 3331 Taylorsville Rd. with burial to follow in Calvary Cemetery. Visitation will be from 2-8 p.m. Tuesday at Highlands.
Expressions of sympathy may be made to Hosparus of Louisville or the Alzheimer’s Association.
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