Carol J. Whalen, 78, Austin

Published 10:14 am Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Carol J. Whalen, 78, of Austin died peacefully on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013, at the Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis. She had recently moved to Waconia, Minn., to be closer to her family.

Carol J. Whalen

Carol was born Feb. 12, 1934, in Austin, Minn., to Carl O. and Gudrun O. (Jacobson) Mellem. She graduated from Austin High School in 1952 and married Hugh Whalen on June 8, 1959, in Albert Lea, Minn. They later divorced. Beginning in high school, she worked as a secretary at Geo. A. Hormel & Co. in the corporate office in Austin until she left in 1967 to raise her three children. She returned to work for the Austin Public Schools system, first at the administration building and later as the principal’s secretary at Southgate Elementary School, where she worked until her retirement in 1996. Carol was a longtime member of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church and loved singing in the choir there for many years. She enjoyed reading, word puzzles (including her favorite, Wheel of Fortune), cheering on the Twins and Vikings, hummingbirds, and spending time with family and friends. She especially enjoyed annual trips with her family to see the fall colors along the Mississippi River, vacationing on Sanibel Island Florida, boating and visiting with her children and grandchildren. Carol was a wonderful person who will be greatly missed by her family and many friends.

She is survived by sisters Doris (Bob) Harber of Blooming Prairie, Beverly (Allan) Adamson of Minneapolis, and Patricia (Irv) Johnson of Muskegon, Mich; children Chad Whalen of Savage, Stacy (Brad) Holzer of Waconia, and Colin (Sherri) Whalen of Owatonna; and three grandchildren, Emma Holzer of Waconia, Jordan and Connor Whalen of Owatonna; nieces, nephews, and cousins. Carol is preceded in death by her parents; sister, Shirley Folken; and brother, Donald Mellem.

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Memorial services will be held Friday, Feb. 15 at 11 a.m. at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Austin with the Rev. Glenn Monson officiating. Visitation will be at Worlein Funeral Home on Thursday, Feb. 14 from 4 to 6 p.m., and at the church for one hour prior to the service on Friday. Memorials are preferred to Our Savior’s Lutheran Church. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at