Cover photo for Marion J. Whalen's Obituary
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1926 Marion 2019

Marion J. Whalen

October 30, 1926 — August 24, 2019

Marion J. Whalen, 92, formerly of Mason City, died on Saturday, August 24, 2019, at Olive Branch Estates in Chanhassen, MN.

A funeral mass will be held on Wednesday, August 28, 2019, at 10:30 a.m., at Epiphany Parish Holy Family Catholic Church, 714 North Adams, with Rev. Josh Link officiating.

Visitation will be on Tuesday, August 27, 2019, at Major Erickson Funeral Home, 111 North Pennsylvania Ave., from 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. with a Scriptural wake service beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Interment will be in Elmwood – St. Joseph Cemetery.

Memorials may be directed to Epiphany Parish Holy Family Catholic Church.

Marion Jean Whalen was born on October 30, 1926 in Rockwell, IA to parents Fred and Anna (Ryburn) Eilers. Marion grew up in Rockwell, and attended Rockwell High School, where she graduated in 1934. Marion was united into marriage to Joseph Whalen on June 4, 1949 at Holy Family Rectory in Mason City. To this union, five children were born: Rick, Jay, Jean, Tim, and Ann.

Some people walk among us with the gift of spreading joy, love and laughter. Marion Jean (Eilers) Whalen was one of them. She gave freely without hesitation no matter who you were or your life situation. She stood up for what she thought was right with fierceness and courage. Besides running her full busy household she was a Girl Scout Leader, Cub Scout Leader, sold garden plants in the freezing Iowa spring, ran the redemption counter for Gold Bond stamps and was an employee at Sears.

Marion was a member of Holy Family Catholic Church for many years. She was a part of the Women’s Club and the Bridge Club. She added her perfect-pitch alto voice and gifted harmony to the Holy Family Church choir and was overjoyed to find her soprano range in her 80's. She filled the house with music and dancing. She loved the music of the 70's as much as her children loved the big bands of the 40's. She played trombone in the Rockwell band. Her first dance at the Surf Ballroom was 1946 where she had her first date with her beloved Joe there. That showed up the final time at the Surf Ballroom at 92 dancing with her walker. She was a matriarch of 5 generations at the time of her passing.

Marion is survived by her children, children: Rick Whalen and wife Beth, Jay Whalen and wife Judy, Jean Alexander and husband Doug, Tim Whalen, and Ann Campbell and husband David; 13 grandchildren: Joseph, Elizabeth, Eric, Sara, Katie, Jonathan, Gabrielle, Michelle, Arielle, Rayna, Brynn, Logan and Cassandra; and 14 great grandchildren and 1 great great grandchild. She is also survived her sisters Eldena Fischer, Elanie Forry and sister in-law Pat Haensch along many nieces, nephews, friends and great neighbors.

She was preceded in death by her parents; and her husband Joseph.

A special thank you to Olive Branch Estates, Country Meadows, Susan Ellis and the Northend Neighbors for their great care of Mom.

Arrangements are with Major Erickson Funeral Home & Crematory, 111 N. Pennsylvania Avenue, Mason City, Iowa 50401, 641-423-0924,

To send flowers to the family in memory of Marion J. Whalen, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Tuesday, August 27, 2019

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

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Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Starts at 10:30 am (Central time)

Epiphany Parish Holy Family Catholic Church

714 North Adams, Mason City, IA 50401

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