Home Miami jersey Obituary: William James Whelan – Portland Press Herald

Obituary: William James Whelan – Portland Press Herald


MIAMI – Born in New Jersey, Bill grew up in Pembroke and South Portland. As a child he was gentle and creative. He was passionate about music and reading philosophy. Bill graduated from South Portland High School in 1984, where he was a member of the basketball team that won the state championship. He went to Harvard University, where he taught basketball, worked at the college radio station, and graduated Cum Laude in 1988. In 1987, Bill joined friends and family. Harvard classmates to form the group, Bullet LaVolta. The band enjoyed resounding success, signing with RCA Records, releasing several albums and touring the United States and Europe. After his music career, he embarked on the digital industry and served as a creative director for various leading advertising agencies in Boston, New York and Miami. He has won awards for his work; including the London International Grand Prize, Grand Clio Interactive and several best in shows. In his mid-twenties, Bill was caught in the grip of mental illness. In the years that followed, the disease worsened, leading him to alienate those he loved and preventing him from seeking treatment. The power and suffering caused by mental illness led him to end his life in Miami on November 1, 2021. He is survived by his wife Sarah; and their two young sons, Zane and Faze; her siblings Robert, David and Caitlin; her father, James F. Whelan, Jr., her mother, Arline Hagan Saturdayborn; and many friends who mourn the loss of this brilliant, sweet and creative soul. A memento from Bill’s life is slated for in the Boston area on April 23, 2022. To honor Bill’s memory, the family is asking for donations to be made to organizations that care for and treat mental illness.

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