Official Obituary of

Ann K. (Flaherty) Whelan

April 20, 1929 ~ March 10, 2024 (age 94) 94 Years Old

Ann Whelan Obituary

Ann K. Whelan, long-time resident of Cohasset, Massachusetts, and the mother of seven children, grandmother of five and with one great-grandson, died March 10, 2024, shortly before her 95th birthday. She was born to Joseph A. and Katherine M. Flaherty of Milton, Massachusetts on April 20, 1929, attended Milton schools and received her BA in nutrition in 1951 from Framingham State College.  While working at an inn in Osterville in 1953, Ann met James L. Whelan and they married a year later; they settled in Cohasset.

Ann was a force of nature. Her Cohasset household, teeming with children, pets, neighbors, and visitors, was always in motion. Somehow, she found time to work, entertain, plant her Patient Lucy Path every spring, manage the myriad tasks of running her household, and make it all somehow achievable. And somehow, there was always room at the table for another person. She would “adopt” her friends’ children—and her children’s friends.

In addition to raising her large family, Ann had a lifelong interest in community and civic service. In the 1950s, she began organizing “teas,” events geared largely to women, to get out the vote for the senatorial and Presidential campaigns of John F. Kennedy and later, Robert F. Kennedy. In 1976, she worked with the state team of Shriver for President. Over the years, she was active in fund raising and development for various organizations including the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center the Special Olympics. She was a co-founder and Executive Director of the Institute of Lifelong Learning at Boston College. In Cohasset, she worked with committees within church, town, political, and charitable circles. After her children were grown, she also worked in event management and sales at American Program Bureau, Inc.

Ann is survived by all her children: Katie Whelan of Lewes, DE; Mary Martha Whelan of Scituate, MA; Ann Whelan Foye (Michael) of Madison, CT; James Whelan of New York, NY; Elizabeth Whelan of Brooklin, ME; Joseph Whelan of Edgewood, RI; and Robert Whelan (Penelope) of Dubai and Athens, Greece. She also leaves five wonderful grandchildren: Elizabeth Ann Hastings of Rowayton, CT; Haley Whelan Kraus of Killingworth CT; Henry Foye of Boston, MA; and James M. and Alexandra K. Whelan of Athens, Greece. Last but certainly not least, she leaves her great grandson, Finn Hastings. Ann was predeceased by her husband, James L. Whelan, and her three siblings Mary E. Flaherty, Joseph V. Flaherty, and Ellen D. Flaherty. 

A mass in her memory will be held May 2, 2024, at 10:00 a.m. at The Glastonbury Abbey, 16 Hull Street, Hingham, Massachusetts. Interment will be at the Woodside Cemetery in Cohasset.

In lieu of flowers, kindly consider a gift to the James and Ann Whelan Fund/ Cohasset Library Trust, 35 Ripley Road, Cohasset, MA 02025. 

Online gifts:  https://www.cohassetlibrary.org/386/Cohasset-Library-Trust; (in honor of The James and Ann Whelan Fund).

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Mass of Christian Burial
May 2, 2024

10:00 AM
Glastonbury Abbey
16 Hull Street
Hingham, MA 02043


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