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John (Jack) Whelan

Date of Birth: 
1926
Date of Death: 
2011

Jack Whelan from Ballyvaskin, Miltown Malby was President of the County Clare P.B. & S Association in New York from 1985 to 1986.

He was a long time member who also served as Vice-President, Dance Chairman and Board Member over the years.  If he was not the chairman, he was always willing to lend a hand and help in any way he could.  He had fond memories of all the dances he attended especially during the 100th Anniversary celebrations.  He marched every year in the NYC St. Patrick's Day parade until he was in his late 70's and after that always went to view the parade.  

Jack worked in England and trained as a nurse there - he left for New York in 1955  He met another County Clare native Mae Clancy there and they married in 1959 at Good Shepherd Church in Inwood, Upper Manhattan.  He worked at the Rusk Institute for Rehabilitation Medicine of New York University Hospital for 35 years in the Urological Department.  He specialized in the care of patients with spinal cord injuries, spina bifida or strokes and cared for such notable patients as Baseball's Hall of Fame roy Campenella and Joe Kennedy (father of JFK).

Jack's family in Miltown Malby had a great enthusiasm for dancing and traditional music.  He brought this great love of Irish culture with him to New York and was instrumental in the strengthening of the Mid-Atlantic Region of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann and founded the Queens, NY chapter of CCE.  This has since been renamed the Killoran-Clancy-Whelan Branch in his honour.  With his wife Mae, he travelled North America to go to the CCE Conventions every year and they loved to dance a waltz or a set.  Their home in Elmhurst would often be used to house the musicians who participated in the CCE tour as it passed through New York.  If they kept a guest book, it would have been a "Who's Who" of well known musicians.

He was a generous fund raiser and also supported Irish causes such as the new roof for the church in Miltown Malby and the Little Ark Church in Kilbaha.

Jack was a positive, optimistic person who encouraged others to do more and be open-minded and innovative with ideas to keep their associations progressing.  He never lost touch with his home country and truly appreciated and loved his adopted country, especially the fact that he could enjoy so many Irish traditions and cultural events in his adopted city of New York. He and Mae were recognsied as a part of the greatest generation of Irish emigrants in a book called  "To Love Two Countries".  They retired to Mineola, Long Island to be close to their social centre - the Irish-American Centre in Mineola.  He was honoured to be named the Grand Marshal of the Mineola-Garden City St Patrick's Day Parade in 2004.

Their 4 children are

Eileen Whelan

Maureen Whelan

James Whelan

Therese Whelan

 

They also had several grandchildren.

Location in USA: 
Elmhurst and Long Island