About An Amazing Life|Help

Francis Joseph
Wheelahan Jr.

May 15, 1927 – September 2, 2020

Share this tribute
Francis Wheelahan
Memorial Candles Lit for Francis | SEE ALL
"We are honored to provide this Book of Memories to the family."
— O'Neill Funeral Home

Obituary for Francis Joseph Wheelahan Jr.


“Proud U.S. Navy Veteran”

WATERTOWN - Francis Wheelahan Jr., age 93 of Watertown CT, passed away on Wednesday, September 2, 2020 at the Vitas Innovative Care Unit of St. Mary’s Hospital, surrounded by the love and comfort of his family. He was the husband of the late Patricia Gauthier Wheelahan.

Francis was born May 15, 1927 in Waterbury Connecticut, the son of the late Francis Sr. and Jane (Tappan) Wheelahan. He proudly served his country in the U.S. Navy and was educated in the Waterbury public school system. He retired after several years from RJ Black & Sons installing and servicing water pump systems throughout the area. Frank enjoyed going out to breakfast every morning at Rozzi’s in Thomaston, trips to Cape Cod and Florida and watching any sport he could find on TV, especially his Boston Red Sox and the Green Bay Packers. He will be greatly missed by all who were blessed to know and love him.

Left to cherish his memory and honor his love and legacy are his 3 sons, Francis Wheelahan III (Deborah) of Watertown, with whom he made his home. Henry P. Wheelahan of Jonesboro Maine and Timothy Patrick ( Charlene) Wheelahan of Watertown, his 2 daughters Amy (Dennis) Matteau of Waterbury, Katharine (Ed) Granger of John’s Island, SC. His brother, John (Jacqueline) Wheelahan of Watertown. A sister in law Gloria Giuditta of Watertown. 15 grandchildren, 30 great grandchildren and 6 great great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. Besides his wife Patricia, he was predeceased by his daughter Susan Jane.

Funeral services for Mr. Wheelahan will be private. He will be buried next to wife in Mt Olivet Cemetery, Watertown. Relatives and friends may visit with his family, at a “walk-through visitation” following all applicable state COVID #19 guideline on Tuesday, September 8, 2020 from 5:00 till 7:00 p.m. at the O’Neill Funeral Home 742 Main St Oakville CT 06779. Memories endure only if you share them, so you are encouraged to leave a condolence, words of comfort or a personal memory for his family, on Francis’ tribute page at

First, i'd like to say thank you all so much for taking the time to view my dads tribute.
In the event you didn't know, our dad was a tad antisocial.
I know my dad is probably thinking right now, "who the hell are all these people" clicking on that mouse thing.
Our mom and dad were married well over 50 years. On their 50th Anniversary we gave them a time in Watertown. That was twenty something years ago. On that occasion I composed a family tribute, and now today as we say goodbye to dad I can't help but think that same standard applies.
Simply said, my dad was for all of us an object lesson in life. What you saw, is what you got.
It molded the Bunker Hill gang, that was and still is today,, us. Not perfect in many respects , but respectful in most , if not all.
Not rich , but more importantly , comfortably blessed to be able to make our own lives as rich as we choose far beyond the less important financial means. We can attest to that with and through the wealth of friends and relations he had and has passed to us. Our dad had many friends that i had never known.
Dad endured a harder life than many might know, but he never complained. He served his country in WWII. He worked harder than most men, however that was usually to please our mom. If she wanted to remodel or add on to our modest home on the hill, she'd simply say, " junie, what if, and the poor guy was cutting , nailing , soldering, sheetrocking, trimming and painting. Yes, she kept him busy for most of our childhood and adult lives as well , even if it was only to keep him out of trouble. He did his best to provide a good home.
Many of his gifts and talents were passed down through osmosis to me and my brothers. When people ask, " how did you learn to build, repair, or design, and fix things, I tell them, " I was blessed to have an artistic and visually gifted grandfather, but equally as blessed to have a father that could build or create some of his own fathers ideas."
Dad loved to watch his sports. Circa 2005 we took him to Fenway, big event, four generations of Wheelahans perched around the Pesky pole at right field. Dad , his middle son, two grandsons, and two great grandson sons. I told him it was a special moment. He told me , it would be even better if we had a cold beer.
Always a gentlemen. If his team lost the big game or series, he was past it in a blink. Oh well he'd say. We should all be that graceful, right?
If not for anything, I would hope our dad is remembered for his ability to remain neutral or leave judgement to others, as he let us all figure out where we should be in life and what we should aspire to. He didn't pick us up when we fell, stumbled, or tripped up. He told us, "you better get going." He wouldn't offer the shoulder to cry on when we had our heartbreaks or setbacks. He'd say , "you better figure it out".
All good lessons for life. And for that, today we are strong!
My dad will be missed, and for some time our family will be sad, but I know in time we'll get going, and we'll figure it out. We're Wheelahans.
We love you dad. Say hi to mom and Sue , tell them we're all on the way, but it will be quite a while as we all have much to do yet. God bless you dad, i love you, and finally, thank you to all who have paid your respects.
Love Henry.

To send flowers to the family of Francis Joseph Wheelahan Jr., please visit our Heartfelt Sympathies Store.


Sign Up for Notifications

Click here to sign up for notifications about information and event scheduling for Francis Joseph Wheelahan Jr.


When Tuesday, September 8th, 2020 5:00pm - 7:00pm
O'Neill Funeral Home
742 Main St
Oakville, CT 06779

Interment Information

Mount Olivet Cemetery
599 Platt Road
Watertown, CT 06795
Share by: