Robert Walter Whaley, 91, died peacefully Monday, June 11, 2007, in the Ohio Veterans Home in Sandusky.
He was born Sept. 9, 1915, in Gerro Gordo, Ill., the eldest son of William Clarence and Frances Elizabeth Durkee. At the age of 18, Robert enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served honorably from 1933 until his discharge from active duty in 1953. Vessels served on included the U.S.S. Houston, U.S.S. Texas and the U.S.S. Europa. During his 20 years of service, Robert saw action in the American Theater, European Theater, China and Korea, serving as chief electrician and often as the ship's photographer. His extensive collection includes rare photographs of FDR, in his wheelchair and candid ship photos. In 1941, Robert wed lieutenant junior grade Helen Margaret McGuinness and upon his retirement from the Navy, moved to Massillon, Ohio. After a lengthy illness, Helen died in 1965. Their only child, Marjorie McCarty, resides in Lynchburg, Tenn., with her husband, Glenn and their four children, Melynda, Brian and Brad live nearby in Alabama and Jeff resides in California. Robert later married Jean Wood Giltz. Since 1971, as long as he was healthy, they traveled and sought adventure. During their 35 years of marriage, they took advantage of every opportunity to see the world, to see new shows, movies and operas. Their joie de vivre inspired friends and made travel available to an appreciative family. Jean died in 2006.
He is survived by Marjorie (Glenn) McCarty and her family; stepchildren, Francey (Randy) Wells of Fuquay Varina, N.C., Chester S. (Carol) Giltz of Cleveland, Harry (Sandy) Giltz of Canton and Dan (Cecil) Giltz of Kent; 11 step-grandchildren, six step great-grandchildren and his nephews and niece, Roger, John and Suzanne.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and his only brother, William.
In loving recall, a memorial service will be 3:30 p.m. Monday in St. Joseph's Church, 330 4th St. S.E., Massillon. The Rev. Charles Odums will officiate. Interment will immediately follow in St. Joseph's Cemetery.
Toft Funeral Home & Crematory, 2001 Columbus Ave., Sandusky, assisted the family.
Condolences may be sent to toftfh.com.
The family wishes to thank the wonderful nursing staff of the Ohio Veterans Home and Stein Hospice of Sandusky for their thoughtful care.