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William Preston Whelan

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William Preston (Press) Whelan

March 12, 1938 – August 16, 2022

William Preston (Press) Whelan was one of 8 children, born in New Haven, Kentucky, to Virgil and Celeste Whelan. He left this earth on August 16th at his home in Acworth, GA after battling a long illness.

Press grew up in New Haven, KY, and graduated from St. Joseph Preparatory High School where he pursued his love of Track and Field. He went on to earn a track scholarship and degree from the University of Kentucky where he later became the Head Track Coach.

Press pursued life very much like he pursued competitors on the track as a young man at the University of Kentucky, with intense passion, grit, determination, and hard work. Press was an NCAA and SEC Champion runner, celebrated UK track coach, international Olympic Coach, and an inductee into four Track & Field Halls of Fame, including the University of Kentucky. 

Press was a Christian, an educator, coach, businessman, and mentor to many but more importantly to us, a husband, father, brother, and son. The lives that he touched throughout the years cannot be measured as most that were lucky enough to interact with him will remember him for his honesty, hard work, caring nature, and sense of humor. To us he will be remembered as our dad, our rock, our coach, our teacher, and the man we loved, cherished, and cared for deeply. 

Press is preceded in death by parents Virgil & Celeste Whelan; brothers James Whelan and Dr. Joseph Fred Whelan; sisters Cecilia Whelan and Betty Seay.  He is survived by his loving wife of over 50 years, Phyllis, and two children, daughter Erika Trelles (Ben) and son Preston (Angie); 5 grandsons - Andrew Trelles, Benjamin Trelles III, John Trelles, Nash Whelan, and Brady Whelan. He is also survived by his sisters Martha Blair of Round Rock, TX (Gene), Patricia Boone of Bardstown, KY, Mary Ann Herrick of Knoxville, TN (Jack), and many loved nieces and nephews. 

On Wednesday, August 24th there will be a Celebration of Life Service at The Cedars in downtown Acworth, GA @ 12pm.   4610 Northside Drive, Acworth, Georgia 30101

In lieu of flowers, please donate to The American Cancer Society. 

8 Comments To "William Preston Whelan"

Bob Babbage On Aug 22 2022 at 1pm
The Whelan Family has touched the lives of a multitude of people, including mine. Mrs. Whelan was a remarkable, gifted, dynamic public school teacher, much loved and admired. Those of us who were her students came to know Coach Whelan, his exceptional career and influence. Prayers of gratitude for this wonderful family. Reply to this comment
Phyllis Whelan On Aug 26 2022 at 12pm
So kind. Blessings, Phyllis
Nancy Dawson On Aug 22 2022 at 1pm
Phyllis, Saddened to hear of your great loss. We know that Press is now healed and in a better place. We were in the U.K. at the same time; I was cheering the Wildcats on while he was earning his many victories. I still think of you as I pass the home you built off Old Frankfort Pike. I pray your faith and wonderful memories will support you through this difficult time. God's peace be with you - Nancy Dawson Reply to this comment
Phyllis Whelan On Aug 26 2022 at 12pm
How kind of you. Blessings, Phyllis
Samantha Williams On Aug 22 2022 at 1pm
I loved working with Mr. Press at Home Depot. He was such a joy daily along with encouraging me to pray. He would wake up at 2:00 am and pray for my Son Naes. I love him and his wife! My condolences to you. He is resting with his Jesus now! . Reply to this comment
Nitta Gregory On Aug 19 2022 at 10pm
Knowing Mr.Press was a True Blessings. This vessel walked the earth holding on to God's Unchanging hand. He was a True Warrior who shared his ❤️ with everyone. A True Light! You will be missed my Dear Friend. Our last words are cherished forever. Until we meet again RIH. Reply to this comment
Ron Mitchell On Aug 19 2022 at 10pm
Pres was a good friend for many years who loved his family dearly and his Lord and had no problem testifying so. We will miss his good heart, but the Lord needed an angel. They are together now. Reply to this comment
Judge Walt Maguire On Aug 19 2022 at 3am
Press Whelan was my Coach, mentor, encourager and friend. A remarkable athlete, Coach, teacher and spiritual leader, if you had the opportunity to know him or just cross his path, you are blessed. Thank you, Coach, for your positive influence on my and and so many others lives. Your long and courageous fight against cancer is testament to your love of life and your strength of character. We will miss you, but always love and admire you for your lasting accomplishments and walk with our Lord, who has honored you now by calling you Home. Prayers and blessings for you and yours, and all those you have blessed! Walter “Flippin” Reply to this comment
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