Mary H. Whalen of Westport, CT, passed away Sat. August 21, 2021, after a brief illness.
She was born In NYC to John Cornelius and Theresa Doyle Hoctor and grew up with her sister Theresa in Yonkers NY.
After graduating in the early 40’s from Gorton HS in Yonkers NY, she started her professional career in NYC working at Seventeen and Young America magazines. In 1950 Mary married William C. Whalen of Springfield Mass. and started their family in Westchester, where she had two children, Cynthia and William.
In the late 60’s while raising her family, Mary went to work as an assistant editor at the Bronxville Review Press Reporter and then was hired in the early 70’s by Chemical Bank, later acquired by JP Morgan Chase. When women were rarely seen in such high-level positions, Mary rose to Vice President for Government Affairs, a position she held, until she retired in 1989.
Mary was a dynamic, vibrant and independent woman and was a strong advocate for women’s rights. She taught English as a second language and joined a collaboration of artists called, The Concepts Group in Darien CT, where she was an active member.
In her retirement she expanded her love of the Arts and her lifelong enjoyment for New York City with her husband and close friends by enjoying memberships in The Metropolitan Opera and MOMA along with the many museums New York City had to offer. She often volunteered as a Docent at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield CT., as well as becoming a wedding Officiant and later presided over the marriage of her granddaughter. Over the years Mary’s love of writing and politics culminated in several articles and Letters to the Editor published in the New York Times.
She enjoyed extensive traveling and spending summers in Ogunquit Maine with family. She loved being surrounded by her grandchildren, Cameron Spackman, Stephen Barker, William J., and Thomas Whalen, along with her great grandchild, River Spackman. She is survived by Cynthia of Westport CT and William of Fairfield CT. A memorial for friends and family will be planned in the near future.
In lieu of flowers, fellow mourners may contribute to Doctors Without Borders USA, Inc. (www.doctorswithoutborders.org)
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Doctors Without Borders, USA
P.O. Box 5030, Hagerstown MD 21741