Marvel Anne Whelan

Marvel Anne Whelan

1934 – 2024

Marvel Anne “Johnnie” Whelan, 90, beloved Navy wife, mother, grandmother, and friend, passed away peacefully in the company of her children on April 10, 2024. She was preceded in death by her husband, US Navy Capt. Edward C. Whelan Jr. (Ret.).

Born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska, to Milton and Marvel Reynolds, Marvel Anne attended Central High, where she made friends who would last throughout her life. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology, History, and English from the University of California, Berkeley in 1956. She met Ed in Omaha in 1957, and they married in 1958 at St. Margaret Mary Church, beginning a life of love and service to family and country.

Throughout Ed’s naval career, Marvel Anne’s unwavering support and grace were constant as they journeyed from coast to coast across the country for his postings. She was an elegant hostess and devoted partner in his achievements. Together, they made lasting friendships and earned great professional success, in part due to their shared dry wit and sense of humor (for years the vanity plate on the Captain and Marvel’s road-worn Mercedes read “SHAZAM2”!). Somewhat later in life, they were happily blessed with two beloved children: a charming daughter and a talented son.

After Ed’s retirement, Marvel Anne pursued her passions, from genealogy to her love for orchids. Her culinary talents were renowned, and her home was a hub of laughter and warmth. Her enthusiasm for history led her to become a docent at The Breakers mansion in Newport and manage her own accounting business.

A devout Catholic, Marvel Anne was active in her Rhode Island and California parish communities. Most recently, she and Ed were dedicated members of St. Joseph’s Church in Placentia for over thirty years.

Marvel Anne’s zest for life was contagious, especially on the dance floor, where she and Edward shared countless joyful moments. She adored her family and left a legacy of love, resilience, and kindness.

She is survived by her children Diane (Whelan) Nelson and Peter W. Nelson of Newport, RI; Edward C. Whelan III and Silvana (Viera) Whelan of San Diego, CA; and beloved grandchildren Charles J. Nelson of Los Angeles, CA; Christopher J. Nelson of Newport, RI; and Patrick E. Whelan of San Diego, CA; and brother John M. Reynolds of Cumming, GA.

A celebration of Marvel Anne’s life will be held at St. Margaret Mary Church in Omaha on April 23, 2024, at 11:00 a.m., followed by a burial at Calvary Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society in her memory.

To plant trees in memory, please visit the Sympathy Store.

Mass of Christian Burial: Tuesday, April 23rd, 2024, 11:00 a.m. at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church, 6116 Dodge St., Omaha, Nebraska.

1 Condolence

  • Mary Hunt Posted April 23, 2024 2:40 pm

    Dear Diane and Edward,
    I’m one of the daughters of Mary Ann and Richard Peters. My parents always spoke so highly of your parents. After your dad passed away I ordered his book that was mentioned in his obituary. It has been so fun reading it. I must admit I enjoyed it even more after your parents married(in the book). When my sister just sent me your mom’s obituary I felt like I knew her. I’m so sorry for the loss of both your mom and dad. They were both so truly amazing!! May God bless you and your families.

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