Massac County’s oldest World War II veteran James “Jiggs” Whalen, age 103 of Metropolis, Illinois was born on March 13, 1920 in Harriman, Tennessee, the son of Patrick Montgomery and Mattie Florence (Brannum) Whalen, and passed away on May 11, 2023 at his residence with his family by his side. Jiggs as he was affectionately known married the love of his life, Loyeszelle (Neal) Whalen, on May 13, 1944 in Benton, Illinois. Together they shared 77 years of marriage before she preceded him in death on August 19, 2021.
Jiggs was retired from Electric Energy Incorporated, was a member of the First Baptist Church in Metropolis, a charter member of the Metropolis Gideons Camp, and served his country in the United States Navy during World War II. He enlisted on September 26, 1942 in Detroit, Michigan and was honorably discharged on November 13, 1945 at the United States Navy Separation Center, Great Lakes, Illinois.
Jiggs is survived by his children, Karen Kaufer and husband George, Trisha Gould and husband Lance, Keith Whalen and wife Chen, and Tim Whalen and wife Kim; 10 grandchildren; and 15 great grandchildren.
Jiggs was preceded in death by his parents, Patrick Montgomery and Mattie Florence (Brannum) Whalen and his wife, Loyeszelle Whalen; 3 sisters, Bea Bunch, Bernice Morgan, and Kate Bardell; 1 brother, Gene Whalen.
Visitation will be held on Wednesday, May 17, 2023 from 10 am to 12 noon at the Aikins-Farmer-Loftus-McManus Funeral Home with the funeral following at 12 noon. Rev. Joe Buchanan will officiate and burial will follow in the Metropolis Memorial Gardens.
Memorials may be made in his name to the First Baptist Church, 307 Massac Creek Road, Metropolis, Illinois 62960.
Music will be provided by Karen Wemhoener, pianist.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Aikins-Farmer-Loftus-McManus Funeral Home. Online condolences may be made at www.aikinsfarmer-millerfh.com
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