Sister James Madeline Whalen (1937-2021)

Sister James Madeline was born Dolores L. Whalen in Lawrence, Maine in 1937, to Madeline (Hamelin) Whalen and James Whalen. Early on in Dolores' life, she had a calling to serve others. After she graduated from Keith Hall High School in Lowell, Mass. in 1955, Dolores entered the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. She decided on Sister James Madeline as her name in honor of her mother and father. Sister James made her first vows in 1958 and final vows in 1963.

She graduated from Emmanuel College in 1967 with a degree in History and Education. Through her years of service, she taught elementary school throughout the Greater Boston area. She loved teaching and thought of her students as her own children. She enjoyed telling stories about "her children."

Sister James, or "Jamsie," as she was affectionately called, loved all things Irish. For many years, she and her best friend, Cheryl, would travel to Ireland during the summer months. Jamsie loved sharing her experiences and adventures with all. When Jamsie talked about Ireland, her face would light up and she would speak in her best Irish brogue.

She died peacefully at age 83 on Friday, June 11th after a brief illness. Her loving family was by her side. She was a resident of the St. Julie Billiart Residential Care Center in Ipswich, Mass.

Sister James Madeline Whalen is survived by four sisters: Madeline Keyes of Chelmsford, Mass., Ann Marie Cahill and her husband Walter of Lowell, Mass., Kathleen Therrien-Balch of Tyngsboro, Mass., Gail Coleman and her husband Dennis of Salem, N.H., two brothers, Robert Whalen and his wife Frances of Lowell, Mass., and Joseph Whalen of Lowell, Mass., and many nieces and nephews. She is also survived by a few special people in her life: Martin Kenny, Sheila Fahey and David O'Brien and his wife Amy. Sister James is also survived by her Sisters and Associates in the Notre Dame de Namur community and the dedicated staff of the St. Julie Billiart Residential Care Center.

She was preceded in death by her parents Madeline and James Whalen, three sisters Theresa Morin, Elizabeth Whalen and Nancy Jennings, three brothers James Whalen, Dennis Whalen and John Whalen, a nephew James Cahill and her best friend, Cheryl O'Brien.

A private Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at Our Lady Queen Chapel in Ipswich, Mass., on Thursday, June 17, 2021 at 10:30 am. 

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