Cover photo for Dr. Donald T. Whelan's Obituary
Dr. Donald T. Whelan Profile Photo
1936 Dr. Don Whelan 2024

Dr. Donald T. Whelan

December 4, 1936 — May 1, 2024

It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Dr. Donald T. Whelan, cherished husband of Michelle (nee Gravel), father to Greg (Mary-Lotis), Scott, Mathieu (Amy), Alex (Marc) and grandfather to Olwyn, Georgia, Will, Liam, Finn, Parker, Bodhi and Gray on May 1, 2024.  Don passed peacefully at home surrounded by his wife and four children. He also leaves behind a community of colleagues and friends who found great value in his kindness and wisdom.


Born in Montreal to Archibald and Elizabeth Whelan, Don is predeceased by his sister Carolyn Goyette, mother of his cherished nieces Sue, Pam and Lori. Proud brother in law to Carole, Roger (Diane) and Jean-Claude Gravel (Manon).  Don attended Loyola College and McGill University Medical School. Don went on to specialize in pediatrics and genetics at  the Montreal Children’s Hospital before moving to McMaster University Medical Centre where he established the Biochemical Genetics Laboratory. His work impacted many; touching the lives of countless families. 


A sports enthusiast, Don held a lifelong allegiance to the Montreal Canadiens, and he found joy in squash, running and windsurfing. He passionately supported all the interests of his children and grandchildren, often seen cheering from the sidelines or actively participating with them. Don was also a great lover of reading, puzzles, gardening and birds. 


Don’s love for cottage life in Oliphant was well known among his family and friends. It was a place of joy, relaxation, and numerous grass cuttings; where he created cherished memories with the Preacher's Point family, a community he dearly loved.


The family would like to thank the in-home palliative care provided to Don by Dr. James Williams, Dr. Sammy Winemaker, nurse Zuzana as well as all of their friends' prayers and support. 


We will remember Don for his compassion, gentleness, intellect, and the indelible mark he left through his professional achievements and personal relationships. His legacy of caring and curiosity will continue to inspire all who knew him.  


Please join us in celebrating Don’s life from 5-7pm, on Friday, May 10, at McMaster University in the Alumni Memorial Hall (University Club / Faculty Club Building). 


The family suggests that in lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Doctors Without Borders, Hamilton Out of the Cold or Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra.  In Don’s memory, please consider taking a moment to let the important people in your life know that you care.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dr. Donald T. Whelan, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Friday, May 10, 2024

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

McMaster University - Alumni Memorial Hall

1280 Main St West, Hamilton, ON L8S 4K1

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