Thomas J. Whalen, 81, passed away of Alzheimer’s Oct. 20, 2020, in Tumwater, Wash. He was born Nov. 14, 1938, to James and Elda Whalen in Timber Lake, S.D. Thomas resided in the Washington cities of Tenino for 51 years, Pe Ell for six years and Rainier for 20 years.
He graduated from Rainier High School with the Class of 1957, and served in the United States Navy from 1959 to 1963. Thomas was stationed in San Diego, Calif., and served in Guam aboard the ship USS Helena. He married Sharon Pettit December 22, 1961, in Tenino, Wash.
Professionally, Thomas worked 29 years at Weyerhaeuser Company, driving a log truck and working on log trains. He also worked 13 years at Olympia Brewing in the Bottlehouse.
Thomas was a volunteer firefighter in Tenino, and a member of the Tenino Masonic Lodge #86, Scottish Rite and Tenino Fraternal Order of Eagles #564. His favorite hobby was working with metal.
He is survived by his wife, Sharon; sons, Steve and wife, Pamela of Elma, Wash., Brian and wife, Desire of Olympia, Wash., and John and wife, Lynette of Chehalis, Wash.; five grandchildren; one great-grandchild; brothers, Robert and wife, Mardene of Parker, Ariz., Darrell, Kenneth and Dennis, all of Rainier; and sisters, Marcella of Rainier and Patricia and husband, Charles of Grayland, Wash.
Special thanks go to The Hampton for all their loving care of Thomas for the past two and a half years and Assured Hospice for their constant care and prayers the past three months.
Due to the pandemic, there will be no public service. The family had a private gathering at Masonic Memorial Park in Tumwater. Memorial donations may be made to Assured Hospice, 2101 Carriage Dr. SW, Olympia, WA 98502, or South Thurston Firefighters Association, PO Box 4010, Tenino, WA 98589.
Arrangements are through Funeral Alternatives of Washington, 360-753-1065.