Kathleen Hope Doran Whaley passed-on peacefully after a short battle with COVID-19 on October 8, 2021. She was 86 years old. She died at her home with many of her children by her side. Kathleen had been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Born in Akron to George and Hope Doran (later remarried to Ralph Miner), Kathleen (“Torch” as she was known to many of her high school friends due to her fiery red hair and sparkplug personality) graduated from St. Vincent High School in 1953. She was a diploma graduate RN of the Akron City Hospital School of Nursing in 1956, and also studied nursing at Ohio State University. Kathleen’s love of nursing would follow her throughout life, as she made a career out of her calling and worked the Oncology floor at Akron City Hospital and then the Emergency unit at Robinson Memorial Hospital in Ravenna for several decades. She also worked in Employee Health at Robinson, as a Visiting Nurse for Portage County, and finished-out her nursing career as the school nurse for the Akron Jewish Center. Kathleen remained in-touch with her fellow nursing students from the School of Nursing until her death and enjoyed their monthly luncheons in various locales across Akron.
1n 1959 Kathleen met and married Robert Whaley, an Akron University basketball star. They lived in Cleveland when Whaley played for the Cleveland Pipers in the nascent ABA, then moved to Ravenna when Robert became a teacher and basketball coach there. Kathleen and Robert had five children and were blessed to see them all grow to adulthood. When their children had all moved out of the house, she and her husband moved back to Akron, then eventually located to Punta Gorda, Florida, for several sun-drenched years. When her husband contracted lung cancer, they moved back to Akron where Bob eventually died of the disease. After the death of her husband, Kathleen was blessed with two significant others – Beau Wise, deceased, and then Robert Rice, whom she dated until her passing.
A lover of music, dancing, animals (particularly dogs and horses), and swimming, Kathleen enjoyed Tap and line dancing; swimming at the Natatorium in Cuyahoga Falls; her yearly Kentucky Derby party; charitable giving to animal organizations such as Happy Trails, One of a Kind Pets, and the Portage County Animal Protective League; and various styles of popular music including vintage Rock & Roll, Country, Celtic, and even some Modern Rock. In recent years her car radio was usually tuned to 91.3 – The Summit. She also enjoyed statistics and factual information and was a fan of the American Almanac, history programs, and Reader’s Digest.
Kathleen was preceded in death by her husband, Robert Whaley; her mother, Hope Miner; and her sister, Ruth Jordan. She is survived by her five children – David, Lynne (Steve), Wendy (Kristin), Dyann (Eric), and Buck; her grandchildren, Bryan, Andy, Katie, Meg and Casey; her sister, Rita Haynie; and eight nieces and nephews. She is also survived by her loyal animal friends, Chase and Mr. Mittens.
Calling hours will be on Saturday, October 16, from 2 to 4 pm at Ciriello & Carr Funeral Homes, 39 S. Miller Road, Fairlawn, Ohio. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to her favorite charity – www.happytrailsfarm.org. Please get vaccinated to end this pandemic!