Well-known Calgary marriage commissioner Nomi Whalen passes away at age 87
Nomi Whalen, a Calgary marriage commissioner and the the wife of long-time Calgary broadcaster, Ed Whalen, passed away on Thursday at the age of 87.
Whalen's son Tony released a statement on behalf of the family and said she was surrounded by her family when she passed away.
She was born in Vancouver and moved to Calgary in 1957 as a newlywed.
"As a kid, she wanted to be a police officer," said Tony Whalen, Nomi's son. "When her dad told her that she wouldn't be allowed to be chief because she's a woman, she ixnayed the entire idea and went another direction instead."
Her husband Ed was a broadcaster in Calgary for many years and died in 2001.
Whalen was a Calgary alderman in the late 1970s, ran for mayor but lost to Al Duerr in 1989, opened the first women’s only gym in Calgary, was a founding member of the Alberta Human Rights Board, authored marriage preparation and advice books, performed same-sex ceremonies before they were legal, and conducted more than 6,000 weddings.
She is survived by her brother Gordon Shapiro of Palm Springs, California, sons Geoff Ghitter and partner Bonnie Datta, Monty Ghitter, and Tony Whalen and wife Mary-Ann, all from Calgary; and by daughters Shaughan Whalen and husband Monty Sayers of Leduc, and June Read and husband John of Calgary, seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
A private service will be held for Whalen and she will be laid to rest next to her husband in Canmore, Alberta,
The family says a public Celebration-of-Life will be held at a later date. They are also asking that donations be made in Nomi’s name to the Alberta Adolescent Recovery Centre (AARC) in lieu of flowers.