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Whalen given fond farewell
By NADIA MOHARIB -- Calgary Sun

Ed Whalen

Ed Whalen Photo Gallery
  With two bald eagles flying in the sky and sunbeams piercing past grey clouds, friends and family gathered at a Canmore graveside for a final farewell to Ed Whalen.

  "The service was absolutely beautiful," Whalen's son Tony said yesterday of the service held Saturday.

  "The sun kept shining gorgeous beams through the clouds and, of all things, two bald eagles were circling overhead."

  A alphorn player sent music to the mountains and Whalen's son-in-law, dressed in full Mountie red serge, saluted the cherished Calgarian.

  "There was a tear rolling down his cheek. It was just as moving as could be," Tony said.

  "We dreaded the day but it turned out to be a great day."

  Whalen, 74, the beloved Calgary broadcaster and charity champion, died earlier this month after suffering cardiac arrest while on vacation with his wife, Nomi, in Florida.

  He now rests in a setting he always called "a little slice of heaven with a good view of the mountains."

  Not long ago, when Whalen and his wife chose the plots, Ed joked he wanted his to be moved over a little so he could have a better view of the Three Sisters mountain group.

  After the service, family and friends gathered at Whalen's Canmore home for an Irish-style wake where jazz played and stories were shared over wine and snacks.

  Tony said the family has been buoyed by public support.

  "It has been absolutely amazing," he said.

  "To know he was loved so much lightened a pretty heavy load in our hearts."

  Soon after his passing, city officials began discussions on naming a public building or facility in memory of the long-time voice of the Calgary Flames and Stampede Wrestling, and Sun columnist.

  Details for a public service are still being worked out.

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