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James Leonard "Red" Whelan

Updated: Dec 13, 2023

Mr. James Leonard “Red” Whelan, age 86, of Brandenburg, KY, passed away on Sunday, December 10, 2023, at Brandenburg Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. He was born on December 23, 1936, the son of Charles Alton and Mary Adelia (Ritchie) Whelan. He was employed at International Harvestor where he became a member of United Auto Workers. Red later worked as a school bus driver for 18 years for Meade County Schools. He was a lifelong farmer who loved his cows and would take in any stray cat or dog. Most of all, Red loved his family and really enjoyed aggravating his grandkids.

Red was preceded in death by his parents; the mother of his children, Mary Rose Whelan; his wife, Shirley Berry Whelan; two sons, Terry Leonard Whelan and Jeffrey David Whelan; his sister, Mary Lou Shireman; and three brothers, Marion, Frank and Randall Whelan. He is survived by his three daughters, Mary Lynne Medley and her husband, Chris, Loretta Gail Whelan and Marla Kaye Wimpee and her husband, Tommy; three bonus children, Sherry Claycomb and her husband, Frank, Angie Searcy and her husband, Willie, and Todd Berry; seven grandchildren, Chad Whelan, Jessica Oliver, Mindy Nevitt and her husband, Jeremy, Kristen Whelan, Caleb Whelan and his wife, Shelby, Nathan Wimpee and Matthew Wimpee; three great grandchildren, Aria and Asher Nevitt and Ava Brazle; his brother, Eugene Whelan; two sisters, Rosetta Ditto and Anna Margaret McGehee; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be held at 1:00 PM on Thursday, December 14, 2023, at the chapel of Hager Funeral Home with Rev. Tom Curry officiating. Burial will follow in St. George Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 4:00 PM until 8:00 PM on Wednesday and from 11:00 AM until the time of service on Thursday. Expressions of sympathy may take the form of donations to the Alzheimer’s Association. Online condolences may be left at

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