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Obituary of Richard W. Whelpley (2012)

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  • Title Obituary of Richard W. Whelpley (2012) 
    Short Title Obituary of Richard W. Whelpley 
    Publisher Athol, Massachusetts, Athol Daily News 23 August 2012 
    Repository Roy Family Archives 
    Source ID S99 
    Text ATHOL -- Richard W. Whelpley, 80, died Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2012, at the Legend Center in Gardner.

    Dick was born in Boston, Jan. 20, 1932, the son of Edward H. and Evelyn (Seymore) Whelpley.

    Dick and his first wife Andrea (Travis) Whelpley were married on Aug. 13, 1949, and she predeceased him in 1987.

    He and Andrea moved to Athol in 1956, where they raised their four children. Dick was a self-employed businessman all of his working life and learned the trade of automobile mechanics from his father and his brother Howard. He was well known in this area and well respected for his knowledge of foreign cars and his fairness to his customers, many of whom did business with him for many years and became some of his closest friends. He owned and operated Silver Lake Esso, School Street Foreign Motors, Dick Whelpley's Arco Station and most recently Import Motors of Orange until his retirement in 2009 due to health issues.

    Dick met and married Virginia (Mallet) (Gabrenas) in 1989 and eagerly and proudly assumed the role of stepdad and "Grandpa" to her four children and grandchildren. He was happiest in their presence and in the company of his many pets over the last 23 years.

    Richard served proudly in a number of community positions for the town of Athol, including on the Conservation Commission, the Planning Board, the EDIC and the Board of Selectmen, where he was chairman for two years. He participated in these roles with the same commitment and fairness that was a hallmark of his life. Richard enjoyed bowling on a league for many years at the Gardner Ten Pins.

    He leaves his wife Virginia; his children, Elizabeth Ringus and her husband Paul, David Whelpley and his wife Priscilla, Thomas Whelpley and his wife Kathy, and Christopher Whelpley; his sister, Elaine Kolinsky; his stepchildren, Mark Gabrenas and his wife Jennifer, Kevin Gabrenas and his wife Deb, Shelly Labrie and her husband Paul, and Meredith Burt and her husband Ben; his grandchildren, Jeremy, Justin, Jonathan, Travis and Eric Whelpley, Stephanie Welsh, Erin Burke and Adrian Ringus. He also leaves his step-grandchildren, Sarah, Mark, Joshua, Kristin and her mother Sue, and Zachary Gabrenas and his mother Jen, Tessa Burt, Darius Burt and Ayden Labrie; five great-grandchildren; his brother-in-law, Tom Travis, and his God son, David Flint, and many nieces and nephews and wonderful friends whom he cherished.

    He was predeceased by his first wife Andrea; three brothers, Rance, Herman and Howard, and his sister Louise, and a step-grandson, Winter Clark.

    A Funeral Mass will be held Saturday, Aug. 25, at 10 a.m., at St. John's Church, 15 Park Ave., Athol, with the Rev. Fr. William Hobbs, rector, officiating.

    Calling hours will be held Friday, Aug. 24, at Higgins-O'Connor Funeral Home, 146 Main St., Athol, from 6 to 8 p.m.

    Private burial will be at Silver Lake Cemetery at a later date.

    In lieu of flowers, donations are suggested in Richard's memory to the Athol Conservation Commission, 584 Main St., Suite 7, Athol, Mass. 01331, or the Athol Animal Shelter, for the care of animals, c/o the Athol Police Department, 280 Exchange St., Athol, Mass. 01331.  
    Linked to (4) Andrea Grace Travis
    Richard William Whelpley
    Family: Richard William "Dick" Whelpley / Andrea Grace Travis
    Family: Richard William "Dick" Whelpley / Virginia Mallet