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Well-known Meekerites Mike and Mary Whalin are this week’s “home of” honorees. They have lived here most of their lives. Mike was gone from July 1957 to July 1961 while in the Navy. They also lived in Santa Maria, Calif., from January 1965 to June 1967 for work. On Feb. 6, Mike and Mary were married for 52 years.
Mike is a self-employed carpenter. He was a farmer for 40 years and started working part-time as a carpenter in 1978. He quit farming in 1997, but still does occasional carpentry work.
Mary retired from the Meeker School District in 2005. She worked for the Meeker School District for 28 years with her last 16 years at Barone Middle School.
The Whalins have three children. Their daughter Terri Hale and her husband Sam live in Meeker. Terri and Sam have three grown children: Ashley Garcia, Rachael Hale and Logan Hale. Ashley is married to Danny Garcia. Ashley and Danny have one son, Ashdon, and a daughter, Jordyn. Mike and Mary’s son Joe Whalin and his son Gage live in Grand Junction. Their other daughter, Linnea O’Nan, and husband Todd have two children, Haley and Hayden.
The Whalins were foster parents for 20 years and fostered approximately 55 children.
“We like to go see grandkids and take trips. We took a lifetime trip to Ireland for our 50th anniversary with a group of nine friends and family. We were part of a tour group. We flew over and took a bus tour. We’ve also been to Mexico, took an Alaskan cruise and have been to Hawaii. Mike enjoys hunting and fishing. I enjoy gardening, canning, baking and making goodies for family and friends,” Mary explained.
“And she’s an excellent cook,” Mike added.
“We’ve worked hard to stay here. We’ve been fortunate to be able to raise our family here in the era that we did raise them. You appreciate Meeker being the small community. It’s a great community and the people are there when you need them,” Mary said.