|Past Vice President C-7A Caribou
Paul A. Whelan, retired Air Force colonel and college educator who also served as a Bi-State Development Agency commissioner, died Thursday (June 27, 2002) of a heart attack at Memorial Hospital in Belleville. He was 72 and lived in Belleville Illinois.
He headed Parks College of Aviation from 1981 to 1991.
In 1997, Mr. Whelan was appointed to Bi-State's board of commissioners, serving as vice chairman since last August. He headed the commission's Aviation Task Force.
Mr. Whelan grew up in Shreveport, Louisiana, and was an Eagle Scout. He married Patricia Whelan on Valentine's Day 1950 and fought in the Korean and Vietnam wars.
After retirement from the military, he began a career in education. Dr. Whelan served as dean or president at three colleges in addition to the 10 years at Parks.
He was active as a Boy Scout leader and holds the Silver Antelope award given by the Scouts. He was a member of the Sierra Club and other organizations.
Visitation was at at George Renner and Sons Funeral Home in Belleville
Besides his wife, among the survivors are 10 sons, Stephen Whelan of Hawthorne, N.J., Timothy Whelan of Wheaton, Ill., Michael Whelan of St. Charles, Kevin Whelan of Roswell, Ga., Thomas Whelan of Seville, Ohio, Patrick Whelan of Tucson, Ariz., Gregory Whelan of Phoenix, Martin Whelan of Annendale, Va., Matthew Whelan of Summerville, S.C., and Daniel Whelan of Columbia, Ill.; two daughters, Monica O'Connor of Potomac, Md., and Moria Whelan of Washington; three sisters, Margaret Whelan of Shreveport, La., Sarah Blake of Madison, Wis., and Alice Donohue of Little Rock, Ark.; and 37 grandchildren.
Memorials may be made to Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Belleville or to the Boy Scouts of America.
All of us kids fondly remember him as a Bou Pilot, and remember when he returned from Viet Nam to receive his PhD in Saint Louis. One of the best pictures we have of him is standing in front of his plane, side arm on and helmet in hand. As he would say, YEA Bou!