Dan Whalen

Saturday, January 6, 2024 4:29 am

Dan Whalen, age 72, of Canton, Minn., passed away on Jan. 4, 2024, at his home.

Daniel “Dan” Paul Whalen was born on March 23, 1951, at a naval base in San Fransisco, Calif. He was the son of Eddie and Leona (Frana) Whalen and was raised on the family farm near Canton, Minnesota along with his three siblings, Kevin, Randy, and Brenda. He loved living on the farm and from a young age was especially interested in mechanics. Leona often told the story of when he was 14 and they gave him a brand-new motorcycle. Soon after they were shocked when Dan took it completely apart because he “had to know how it worked”— and then he put it back together.

Dan attended North Winneshiek High School. He married Joan Rasmussen. Sadly, Joan and their son, Mark, both died during childbirth in May of 1970. Dan later had two sons, Adam and Jason.

Dan worked at John Deere in Preston, Minn., and then set out on his own as a self-employed mechanic and walked this path the rest of his life. He specialized in transmissions and could fix anything. People would come from all over and he earned the title of “Dan the Transmission Man.” If someone couldn’t foot the bill, he loved a good barter or would just do the work for free.

Dan loved to strike up conversations with anyone, especially when he was eating out around local communities or at family gatherings. He especially loved going to his dad, Eddie’s restaurant, the Villager Drive-In in Canton. He enjoyed a spirited conversation and sometimes could be a bit stubborn.

Danny is survived by his sons, Adam (Abbey) Whalen of Mount Vernon, and Jason Whalen; grandchildren, Alice Whalen and Colton Johnson; siblings, Kevin (Della) Whalen of Canton, Minn., Randy Whalen of Lime Springs, and Brenda (Allen) Holthaus of Cresco; along with several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Eddie and Leona Whalen, his wife Joan Whalen, and his son Mark Whalen.

Private family services will be held at a later date with burial in the St Agnes/ Plymouth Rock Cemetery in rural Decorah. Lindstrom Funeral Home is assisting the family.

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