Elizabeth M (nee Griffin) Whelan, age, 85 New Smyrna Beach, Florida, died, Friday, October 30, 2015 at Bert Fish Medical Center. Funeral Mass will be celebrated 11:00 AM Wednesday, November, 4 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, New Smyrna Beach. The family will receive friends on Tuesday from 4 to 6PM at Baldwin Brothers Funeral Home, North Causeway, New Smyrna Beach. Interment will be at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.
Betty is survived by her loving husband of 63years Colonel William E. Whelan, US Army (Ret.); her daughter, Christine Anne Pedlar (Charles), and her two favorites in all the world, her grandchildren, Sean and Katherine, all of Zachary, Louisiana; her sister, Mary Lou Smith (Paul), of Osterville, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and several nieces and nephews.
Betty was born in Brookline, Massachusetts, the second youngest of seven children of John and Alice Griffm. She graduated from Brookline High School, class of 1948. She married Bill, her high school sweetheart, in May 1952. Shortly thereafter she began her
Shortly after she began her career as an Army Wife when she joined her husband at Fort Riley, Kansas, her first duty station. Betty was a real “soldier” having moved 24 times in a little over 28 years. During those years, she met the challenge of making a home for her family in many states and in Germany and not always under the most desirable circumstances. Despite a busy schedule as a homemaker and mother, she found time to graduate from Temple Business College in Washington DC and to attend Catholic University there as well.
She worked when her husband’s assignment made it convenient. She was employed as the Executive Secretary to the District Manager, Avis, Washington DC and was the Office Manager for the Potomac Equestrian Academy of Oakton, VA, among other positions. She was also a volunteer worker in both the military setting as well as the civilian community doing many different types of jobs. While at Fort Lee, VA she worked in the Thrift Shop and assisted in the Red Cross Blood Mobile and served as the Chair of the Headquarters Officer’s Wives’ Club. Betty continued her volunteer work following her husband’s retirement from military service. She delivered Meals on Wheels and was a telephone councilor for Contact Teleministries, USA. She also participated in two of the lay ministries sponsored by her church, Holy Cross Catholic Church, of Lynchburg, VA regularly visiting two special senior citizens at the Westminster Canterbury Retirement Home, and, perhaps most satisfying, as a tutor in the Children’s Tutorial Program.
Betty and Bill were both golfers and over the years they enjoyed playing golf together on some of the greatest golf courses in this country and Europe. She was an avid reader of both books and weekly news magazines. However, she liked nothing better than spending time with her grandchildren, Sean and Katie. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a contribution to Sacred Heart Catholic School or your favorite charity.
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