Obituary of Jon Sydney Whalen
Sydney Whalen, age 74, of Columbia, passed away peacefully in his home on Thursday, November 9, 2023. Funeral services will be held at 12:00 Noon, Tuesday, November 14, 2023 at First Presbyterian Church in Columbia with Rev. David Lauten and Rev. Bryan Bult officiating. Family will visit with friends across the street from the church at The Bridge, 1400 Lady St. Columbia, SC at 11:00am on Tuesday, November 14, 2023, prior to the service. Burial will immediately follow at Greenbrier United Methodist Church Cemetery in Rion, SC, with Thompson Funeral Home of Columbia in charge.
Mr. Whalen was born September 18, 1949 in Columbia, SC. He was the son of the late John and Anna Whalen of Orangeburg, SC. He was forever a Gamecock as a graduate of the University of South Carolina, receiving two degrees, a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Master of Arts. His impressive professional artistic skills were applied throughout his years of employment beginning with the USC Maintenance and USC Police Departments, followed by 43 dedicated years with the SC Department of Agriculture. He further promoted SC Agriculture by working with the SC State Fair for 46 years. His bewildering personal artistic expressions were left to interpretation by family and friends. Fiercely independent, he never let his physical limitations keep him from traveling the world and his engaging sense of humor made friends far and forever. He loved helping the less fortunate through local support of the Harvest Hope Food Bank, Oliver Gospel Mission, Salvation Army and Toys for Tots. Most importantly he was a devoted child of God dedicated in his faith, always willing to pray with and for others, and respectful of the grace given to him by his Savior.
Survivors include his twin brother, Harry C. Whalen (Diane) of Allen, TX, sister, Gloria W. Kempson of Gilbert, SC, and brother Earl L. Whalen of Orangeburg, SC; nieces Elizabeth Blair (Jeff) of Commerce, MI and Kristen Daly (Jake) of Arlington TN; nephews Jonathan Whalen (Angela) of Monroe, MI, Jay Kempson of Gilbert, SC, Walker Whalen and Tanner Whalen of Orangeburg, SC, along with a grand nephew, multiple grand nieces, and many cousins in Italy and England. He was predeceased by his sister Maria Negri of Naples, Italy.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Missions Ministry of First Presbyterian Church, 1324 Marion St., Columbia, SC 29201.
The family extends sincere appreciation to his amazing neighbors Ann and Mike for loving and caring for him as if he were their own family and to Paula for always making his heart shine.