March 30, 2012

Jeanette Grider

William F. Whealen 1932-2012

A longtime Saint Louis University faculty member has passed away. William F. Whealen, associate professor emeritus of English, died Monday, March 26. He was 79.

William F. Whealen

Prof. Whealan joined the SLU faculty in the 1960s as an associate professor of humanities and social sciences-English at the University's Parks College based in Cahokia, Ill., where he taught writing courses for students in aviation and engineering and also served as department chair. When Parks relocated to the St. Louis, Whealen joined the English department in the College of Arts and Sciences until his retirement in 2009.

Prof. Whealen earned his undergraduate degree in 1959 and completed his master's in 1960 at the University of Missouri Columbia.

Sara van den Berg, Ph.D., chair of the English department, said Whealen's legacy at SLU runs deep.

"Willie was a dedicated teacher who spent most of his professional career at SLU," van den Berg said. "He will be deeply missed by all who knew him."

Fellow English professor Vincent Casaregola, Ph.D., spoke highly of his friend and colleague of nearly two decades.

"Willie Whealen was a man who lived for his teaching, and he brought literature to life for literally thousands of SLU undergraduates through his introductory short fiction classes," Casaregola said. "He was a supportive colleague and a tireless worker. His legacy is the gift of loving to read that he brought to so many. We missed him when he finally retired several years ago, and we will miss him even more now."

Edward Sabin, Ph.D., associate professor in the department of psychology and longtime friend of Prof. Whealen, shared his thoughts on the impact he had on those around him.

"Willie was a very productive, supportive and popular teacher," Sabin said. "His ‘Introduction to Short Fiction' classes were incredibly popular and always full."

Prof. Whealen was preceded in death by his brother, Col. Daniel Whealen. He is survived by his wife, Barbara; son William Jr.; three grandchildren; brother Martin Whealen, S.J.; and sister Mary Lou Sammelman.

A memorial Mass will be held at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 4, in the chapel at Saint Louis University High School, 4970 Oakland Avenue, St. Louis, Mo. 63110.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Saint Louis University High School Scholarship Fund or the charity of your choice.

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