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Teresa (Terry) Ruth (McNamara) Whalen

June 1, 1957 ~ July 11, 2021 (age 64)


Teresa (Terry) Ruth (McNamara) Whalen, 64, of Appleton, passed away peacefully Sunday evening, July 11th, with her family by her side. Terry fought a short, brave battle against pancreatic cancer. She was born in Appleton on June 1, 1957, daughter of Thomas Jr. and Ruth (Kachur) McNamara, and graduated from Appleton West High School. On September 10, 1977, she was united in marriage to Robert (Bob) Whalen.

Terry worked at several businesses during high school and after graduation began working at Miller Electric Mfg. Co.  After Miller, she provided day care in her home, and then worked at various health care facilities.

Over the years, Terry and Bob enjoyed camping and traveling the States with their girls, and made many friends along the way. They also shared their love of the outdoors with their grand-children. Terry and Bob had a special weekend with them a couple of weeks ago … just Avery, Sofia, and Mitchell in the “home on wheels.”

After retirement two years ago, Terry and Bob were able to achieve their dream of purchasing a fifth-wheel and traveling the country. They visited many parts of the country, and especially loved their time in New Mexico at the Albuquerque Balloon Fest. Unfortunately Covid cut their trips short, so instead they visited hidden gems in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota. But her favorite spot was near the beach, toes in the sand, relaxing with a book. Sarah and Amy were able to take Terry to the Florida beach in April which she so thoroughly enjoyed!

Terry is survived by her loving husband, Bob, three daughters and her grandchildren:  Sarah (Corey) Kopke, Wausau and their daughters Avery and Sofia; Elizabeth Whalen; Amy (Justin) Ponto, Weyauwega and their son Mitchell; and Tucker her beloved dog.

She is further survived by her sisters and brothers and their families:

Colleen (Mike) Pankratz, Appleton [Jennifer (Curtis) Miller and Sadie Mae]:

John (Patti Ann) McNamara, Sheffield Lake, OH [Amanda (Brian) Hill and Olivia, Katie-Grace, Sawyer, Ellie; and Bethany (Rob) Wright and Elizabeth, Abigail, Mike, Julie, and Lydia]:

Ashlyn (Rob) Lonsway, Appleton [Kyle (Andrea) Klitzke and Noah, Jonah; and Carson and Cavan Lonsway]

Glenn (Patti) McNamara, Kaukauna [Keegan (Ericka) McNamara and their child due in September].

Terry is also survived by her brother-in-law Bill (Kathy) Whalen, Crivitz, WI and their family.

She is further survived by many other relatives and friends.

Terry was preceded in death by her parents Tom & Ruth McNamara, and Bob’s parents Leo and Virginia (Sis) Whalen.

Visitation and Service will be Friday, July 16, 2021 at Valley Funeral Home at 2211 N. Richmond Street, Appleton, WI 54911. Visitation is from 1-3 pm with Service starting at 3pm.

In lieu of flowers, you can honor Terry at ThedaCare Family of Foundations INC;

The family would like to extend their sincere gratitude to Dr. Yao and his care team at ThedaCare Cancer Center, and the ThedaCare Hospice staff.



Always remember to forget, The things that made you sad. But never forget to remember, The things that made you glad.

Always remember to forget, The friends that proved untrue. But don’t forget to remember, Those that have stuck by you.

Always remember to forget, The troubles that passed away. But never forget to remember, The blessings that come each day.


To send flowers to the family, please visit our floral store.


July 16, 2021

1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Valley Funeral Home
2211 N. Richmond St.
Appleton, WI 54911

Funeral Service
July 16, 2021

3:00 PM
Valley Funeral Home
2211 N. Richmond St.
Appleton, WI 54911

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