Thomas L. ‘Tom’ Whalen
Thomas L. “Tom” Whalen passed away in the comfort of his home on July 17, 2020, surrounded by his family. Tom was born June 1, 1953 and attended Saint Mary Catholic Grade School in Tomahawk, and graduated from Tomahawk High School.
Tom was an avid outdoorsman who fished and hunted every chance he could. His favorite fishing spots were in Minnesota, and he loved elk hunting in New Mexico, but you could find him in the winter ice fishing on Lake Nokomis. Tom was well known by friends and family for his fish fries, using those delicious panfish to entertain in all seasons of the year.
After graduating from high school, Tom started in the Natural Resources program at UW-Stevens Point. College is where Tom found a number of friends that continue to remain close to him today. Tom soon realized that his career would not be in natural resources, but would be as a builder/general contractor. He began working for a local contractor before beginning his own business, BandW Construction, with his high school friend Tom Bishop. Tom then branched out to his own company, Whalen Construction, which he retired from in 2018. As the saying goes, Tom’s real wealth was measured not by his possessions, but by his character. His community, business associates, employees, and clients knew him as a man of integrity, and a guy who could get the job done. Examples of Tom’s skill as a builder are evident in many homes and structures in the Northwoods, including the home Tom built that he and Liz have lived in for 40 years.
Tom is survived by his loving wife, Liz, and daughter, Courtney (Kyle) Tessmer and granddaughters, Lillie and Charlotte Tessmer of Weston. He is further survived by his mother, Virginia Fran Sweek, Tomahawk, siblings, Daniel (Susan) Whalen, Brownfield, ME; Antonette (Greg) Whalen, Lake Tomahawk; Micky (Jean) Whalen, Irma; Marion (Rick) Kohl, Tomahawk and many nieces and nephews.
Tom is preceded in death by his father, David Whalen, stepfather, Adolph Sweek and niece, Kristina Morse.
Glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer, ended Tom’s life quickly and far too soon. Tom was one of the kindest and most generous men you could meet, and as one close friend said, “He seemed happiest doing something for someone.” Tom was especially proud of his granddaughters, showing them an endless amount of love, patience, and affection. What will never end is how much we will miss a true family man, businessman, and friend, who left this world a much better place.
To protect the health of friends and family during the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be no public visitation at this time. A celebration of life party will be held at some date in the future. Private Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Saint Mary Church with interment in Forest Garden Cemetery in Woodruff. Krueger Family Funeral Home, Tomahawk, is assisting the family. Please share your thoughts and memories at www.kruegerfamilyfuneral.com. Memorials are appreciated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., or to the Tomahawk Food Pantry in Tom’s name.
Liz and Courtney would like to thank Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice for their assistance and would also like to thank everyone who assisted us in any way during this difficult time. We could not have done it without you.