Founder of Illinois carrier passes at 56

Updated Sep 2, 2018

The founder of an Illinois trucking company died earlier this week.

Michael J. “Radar” Whalen, of Waverly, Illinois died Monday evening, Aug. 27, at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee. He was 56.

Michael J. WhalenMichael J. Whalen

Mr. Whalen was the owner-operator of Mike Whalen Trucking in Waverly, Illinois. The company was founded in 1973 and today operates over 80 tractors and 150 trailers hauling grain, anhydrous ammonia, reefers and dry vans, according to the company website. He was a member of Mid-West Truckers Association.

An obituary from The Springfield Journal-Register said:

Mr. Whalen was born January 20, 1962, in Springfield, Ill., son of Bernice Christy Whalen and the late Richard E. Whalen.

Surviving are his children, Matthew, Anna and Elizabeth Whalen all of Waverly, Ill.; his mother, Bernice Whalen of Franklin, Ill.; brothers, Rick Whalen (Janet) of Franklin, Ill. and Patrick Whalen (Lynn) of Springfield, Ill.; a sister, Chrissy Jurkiewicz (Mike) of Chesterfield, Mo. and several nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his father.

Mike was a 1980 graduate of Routt Catholic High School and was owner/operator of Mike Whalen Trucking in Waverly, Ill. He was a member of St. Sebastian Catholic Church in Waverly. He was also a member of Mid-West Truckers Association. He loved semis, cars, and trucks. Mike loved spending time with his children, going to their sporting events and traveling to see his friends. Mike never knew a stranger.

Funeral Mass will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday (September 4, 2018) at Our Saviour Catholic Church in Jacksonville, Ill. Burial will be in Sacred Heart Cemetery in Franklin, Ill. Visitation will be held from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday at Williamson Funeral Home with a prayer service being conducted at 2:45 p.m. Monday. Memorials may be made to Waverly Rescue Squad or to Routt Catholic High School, both c/o Williamson Funeral Home, 1405 Lincoln Ave., Jacksonville, Ill. 62650. Condolences may be sent to the family online at