Ann Rose Whaley, RBSA commodore

September 4, 2019

Ann Rose Whaley, 62, a former commodore of the Rehoboth Bay Sailing Association, died of cancer Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019, at her Ocean View home. 

A Sussex County resident for many years, she came to Rehoboth Beach as an infant and summer visitor. She spent her summers at 8 Wilmington Ave. in the 1970s and 1980s. She worked as a waitress in the dining room of the old Royalton Hotel (now the Royal Treat) and at the Candy Kitchen shops. For several summers, she was a bartender at the old Papajohn’s tavern on the Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk.

Born in Baltimore, Md., she was the daughter of Joseph B. Kelly and his wife M. Stewart Monaghan Kelly, both longtime Rehoboth visitors. She was a graduate of the Baltimore Academy of the Visitation, Notre Dame of Maryland Preparatory School, where she played field hockey, and the Catholic University of America, where she was a member of the staff of The Tower, a student newspaper.

She joined the Salvation Army and later the National Geographic magazine in Washington, D.C., and worked in its photo captions department. She also worked for McGraw-Hill publications in Philadelphia.

She moved to Sussex County in the late 1980s and built a home in The Cottages in Ocean View. As a reporter-photographer, she contributed to local publications such as the Cape Gazette, and did wedding photography. She worked for the Delaware State Housing Authority from 1990-95. There she met her future husband, Christopher A. Whaley, now its director of housing management. They married in 1992 at St. Ann Church in Bethany Beach and had an oceanfront reception at a Dewey Beach home.

She also worked for BIE and conducted local math, science and technology programs for middle school students in Kent and Sussex schools.

She was a community volunteer and was a board member of the Friends of the South Coastal Library from 1988-92. She also worked for the University of Delaware’s Office for School to Work and the Delaware Business/Industry Education Alliance in enrichment programs for middle school students in Kent and Sussex schools. She sat on the Child Placement Review Board for the Delaware Department of Child Services.

Active in sailing, she served two terms as the commodore of the Rehoboth Bay Sailing Association, where she organized numerous events. She was also an avid angler. Friends recalled her gentle sense of humor and ability to complete a project. She was an enthusiastic entertainer, and often served her guests her homemade Baltimore-style crab cakes.  

Survivors include her husband of 27 years, Christopher Whaley, a son, Paul Whaley; two daughters, Mary Louise Whaley and Katherine Whaley, all of Ocean View. She is also survived by her siblings, Jacques Kelly, Ellen Cora Kelly, Mary Stewart Kelly and Josephine Stewart O'Rourke, all of Baltimore.

Visitation will take place at 10 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 10, with a funeral Mass at 11 a.m., at St. Ann Roman Catholic Church, Garfield Pkwy. in Bethany Beach.


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