Mr. Bruce Stephen Whaley, 81, husband of Jeanne D. Whaley and a resident of Accomac, passed away Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021, at Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital in Onancock. Born March 15, 1939, in Orange, N.J., he was the son of the late Albert Gray Whaley Jr. and the late Mary Sabina Whaley.
Bruce proudly served his country in the U.S. Army, having been stationed in Germany and assigned to the corporal missile program as a fire control crewman. Following honorable discharge, he attended Nichols College in Massachusetts, where he played football. He later joined the workforce as a computer equipment and supply salesman, working primarily in North Jersey and New York City throughout his career. Raised in a Catholic home, his devout faith in the Lord led him to serve as an ordained deacon of the Roman Catholic Church for many years.
As a child, Bruce began taking drum lessons and music became a lifelong joy and passion. Bruce was a talented drummer, known in the professional music world as “The Whale.” As a young man, he was a member of “The Crescents,” a cover band that played at universities such as Princeton, weddings, as a house band for a restaurant, and countless venues. Over the years, his career as a professional musician led him to many incredible experiences and famous introductions in New York City. He remained humble and grateful for the opportunity to do what he loved.
Bruce had a great appreciation for nature and enjoyed being on the water. In 2010, Bruce and Jeanne retired to the Eastern Shore of Virginia, where they quickly adapted to the slow pace lifestyle and beautiful surroundings of the small waterfront community. They joined Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, where Bruce shared his musical gifts at the coffee house concerts. As members of the Eastern Shore Yacht & Country Club, Bruce looked forward to afternoons and evenings socializing with friends at the clubhouse. At the ESYCC they joyfully celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with family and friends. The splendor and serenity of the Shore inspired him to take up photography, often venturing out to capture the day’s beauty. He loved taking rides on his boat, going for a walk along one the peninsula’s seemingly undiscovered beaches, watching the sun dip into the bay, and listening to the waves crash on Assateague Island, especially with Jeanne at his side.
In addition to his wife of 53 years, Bruce is survived by his children, Bruce Stephen Whaley Jr. and his wife, Pamela, of Teaneck, N.J., Donna Ann Frimberger and her husband, Walter, of Sparta, N.J., Gray Howard Whaley, of Carbondale, Ill., Sharon Joy Franklin and her husband, Michael, of Accomac, and Carleen Haselden and her husband, Michael, of Parker, Colo.; grandchildren, Emily, Walter, Evan, Grace, Benjamin, Devin, Mackenzie, Nicole, Tasha, and Ryan; brother-in-law, Thomas Joseph Hosted; niece, Linda Ann Hosted Moses, and her husband, Charles; and nephew, Thomas Joseph Hosted. Other than his parents, he was predeceased by his first wife, Barbara Ann Guest Whaley; a son, Christopher Michael Whaley; brother, Albert Gray Whaley III; and sister, Ann Meredith Hosted.
A celebration of Bruce’s life will be scheduled for a later date.
In honor of Bruce, the family requests contributions may made to the Foodbank of the Eastern Shore, P.O. Box 518, Onley, VA 23418 (www.foodbankonline.org) or Dos Santos Food Pantry, P.O. Box 758, Accomac, VA 23301 (www.dossantosfoodpantry.org).
Memory tributes may be shared with the family at www.williamsfuneralhomes.com