ELKHART — William M. “Bill” Whalen, 83, of Elkhart passed away peacefully on Thursday, July 4, 2019, at 2:18 p.m. at Elkhart General Hospital following an extended illness.
He was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on Oct. 12, 1935, to the late Roy and Florence (Taber) Whalen and later married J. Jeannine Defreese on May 8, 1986, in Elkhart; she survives at home after 33 wonderful years together.
Also surviving are sons Michael (Jerry) and Jeff Whalen; stepdaughters Deb Ludlow, Donna (David) Juday-Balka and Jacki (Freddie) Williams; brother Al Whalen; seven grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren. A stepson, David Juday, and a sister, Vivian Mata, precede Bill in death.
Bill’s life will be celebrated at Billings Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Elkhart on Wednesday, July 10, at 2 p.m. with a gathering of friends and family, beginning there at noon. Brother Art Smoot from Elijah’s Fire Ministries of Elkhart will officiate and, in accordance with Bill’s wishes, cremation has taken place.
Bill worked as an auto salesman in the Michiana area for decades. His devotion to his career earned him many awards from many different dealerships over the years, as well the respect and friendships earned from customers and colleagues alike. He was a meticulous lawn and yard enthusiast and worked hard each year to assure that his lawn was as near perfect as possible. He also liked to work on cars and was an avid Notre Dame Fighting Irish Football fan.
Memorial donations may be given to the Humane Society of Elkhart County, and online condolences can reach the family at the funeral home’s website.