Bertha F. Whalen, 82, of Spearfish passed away Friday, November 16, 2012 at David M. Dorsett Health Care Center in Spearfish.

Posted Dec. 14, 2012

Bertha Frances Maliske Whalen was born December 3, 1929, in rural Harding County, S.D., to Michael and Apolonia Maliske. In 1948, she graduated from Scranton High School, where she was captain of her basketball team and homecoming queen. Bertha attended St. John’s McNamara School of Nursing in Rapid City, S.D., graduating in May of 1951. On November 6 of that year, she married Joseph Richard Whalen at St. Isidore Catholic Church in Harding, S.D. The couple then moved to Scranton, N.D. To this marriage God gave Bertha and Joseph five children: Mary, Diane, Karen, Robert, and Warren. Throughout her life, Bertha took comfort in loving, nurturing, and guiding them.

Bertha worked part-time as an ICU nurse at St. Luke’s Hospital and at the Tri-State Clinic in Bowman, N.D. She retired from nursing in the late 1980s. Bertha frequently received flowers and gifts from appreciative patients.

Bertha was a member of the American Legion Auxiliary, Catholic Daughters, and various homemaker clubs. She was an avid gardener and a winner of several county fair competitions in floral arranging. A talented artist, Bertha captured the natural world in delicate drawings and paintings; one Christmas she lovingly hand-painted glass ornaments for each of her children and grandchildren. A devout Catholic, Bertha was particularly ardent in her prayers to the Black Madonna of Czestochowa.

Compassionate, quiet, intelligent, curious, and capable, Bertha realized her capacities to the fullest as a nurse, wife, mother, and grandmother. Family, friends, and acquaintances remember her for her kind laughter and warmth.

Bertha is survived by her husband Joseph Whalen; her sisters, Sophie Sarsland, Agnes Welch, Elizabeth Yanzick, and Veronica Svihovec; her children, Mary (Connie) Hochhalter, Diane (Ken) Olson, Karen (Kevin) Wilson, Robert (Rene) Whalen, and Warren (Tami) Whalen; fifteen grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. Preceding her in death are her parents, her brothers, John Maliske, Anthony Maliske, Thomas Maliske, and Herman Maliske; and her sisters, Wanda Turbiville and Sally Whalen.


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