In Our Care

John James Whalen

05/28/1955 - 03/21/2022


Obituary For John James Whalen

John James Whalen III, "Jack" or "Coach" to many, of Fall River, MA, passed away, Monday, March 21, 2022, at his home in Fall River, MA.Born in Providence, RI, he was the son of the late John James and Louise (Pacheco) Whalen.Mr. Whalen had worked as a sales representative at New England Tool, Shawmut Metal Products and Handy & Harmon for over 40 years, retiring in 2011. He was perhaps better known as a teammate to many on a variety of championship winning teams, particularly mens softball as well as a football coach to generations of young athletes that played for him at the pop warner, high school, and college levels. He was also a legendary storyteller with great comedic wit and a true fan of Michigan football, history, vodka, his grandfather, his Irish roots, and most importantly, his friends.He is survived by his wife, Kathleen A. Mello of Fall River, MA, a son, Thomas D. Whalen and his fiancé Carolyn of Westport, MA, his ex-wife and still close friend, Robin Whalen, three step daughters, Elizabeth Mello of Franklin, MA, Kathryn Mello of Somerset, MA, and Lynn Souza and her husband Mark of Marion, MA, two sisters, Patricia Saunders of Bristol, RI, and Lori Taylor of Bristol, RI, and three step-grandchildren, Emma, Ava, and Benjamin.Calling hours are omitted.Funeral services and burial are private, but an Irish Wake is being held in his memory at Aidan's Pub in Bristol, RI from 12-3 pm on Saturday, March 26th. All those with a connection to Jack are welcome to join to celebrate his life.Arrangements are by Smith Funeral & Memorial Services, 8 Schoolhouse Rd., Warren, RI.Information/On-Line condolences please visit-

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  • 04/08/2022

    For countless years, from within my house on Kickemuit Rd, the sound of a bouncing basketball was heard from Metacom down Kickemuit, and onward to the basketball court at Child Street School. Jackie was our own personal harbinger of spring. Condolences to Lori and Patty, and to all those who love Jackie. Janet Amaral

  • 03/25/2022

    Dear Kathy, We were so very sorry to hear of Jack's passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this time. Love, Dick and Jo-Ann Cole Irish Prayer: May God give you... For every storm, a rainbow, For every tear, a smile, For every care, a promise, And a blessing in each trial. For every sigh, a sweet song, And an answer for each prayer.

  • 03/24/2022

    Jack will always be held in high regard by the many boys that played for him whom he helped grow into fine young men! He always held honor and tradition in high regard. He was a Warrior when I met him and will forever be a Warrior in my heart and memories! "Always remember to forget The things that made you sad. But never forget to remember The things that made you glad." Sláinte to you, Jack! -JohnEM

  • 03/24/2022

    In the summer of 2018 my Dad, our friend IL, and I walked into a tiny pub in county Clare Ireland. All the bar patrons were wearing matching jackets - and when we asked if they came from a game, they told us they were all there having a drink and a wake for their coach who had just passed. Feeling like an intrusion we went to leave and the bartender told us that was completely unnecessary and we were meant to have a drink with them in their coaches honor. We stayed until the wee hours of the night sharing stories, laughs, and drinks. Our tab had to be outrageous. When we went to pay - they didn't accept cards - so we asked where we could find an ATM. The bartender just said "just swing by and get me in the morning" - like it wasn't a deal at all. Just complete blind trust to total strangers at his own coaches wake. It floored my father. It was one of his fondest memories of the trip - and because he thought it encompassed everything that was good about life in that single evening. He wanted to find joy in the sadness of someone passing. Its how he wanted it. He talked about it every time we brought up retuning to Ireland. In his honor, we will be hosting an Irish wake in honor of our own coach "Jack," this Saturday from 12-3 at Aidan's pub in Bristol. We will overcome our own sadness and celebrate his life and add 1 last Jack Whalen story to the very long list.

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