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Tim “Muttz” Whelan ’76

All Fore a Good Cause

Tim "Muttz" Whelan ’76

When Tim “Muttz” Whelan ’76 lost his year-and-a-half long battle with cancer, his fraternity brothers wanted to do something to honor his memory.

As a member of the Theta  Chi fraternity, every year Tim would travel to Harrisburg for a special golf weekend with his fellow fraternity brothers. After Tim’s death, several of his frat brothers met for dinner at Grand View Golf Club in North Braddock to discuss continuing the tradition with a memorial golf outing. Fraternity brother Vern Ingham ’75 immediately contacted Tim’s sister, Suzy Whelan, to rally family and friends, and the stage was set for the Tim “Muttz” Whelan Memorial Golf Outing, which was held last May.
Tim was an avid golfer and belonged to a league at Grand View, which was the obvious choice to host the event, since one of the owners of the club, Pat Lanigan ’72, a close  friend of Tim’s, was also one of Tim’s fraternity brothers and owner of Lanigan Funeral Home in East Pittsburgh, where Tim’s services were held.   

Twenty-six Theta Chi fraternity brothers from seven states as far away as Florida and Texas came to the “Muttz Classic.” It was a sweet reunion for the fraternity brothers, since many of them had not been together since graduation over thirty years earlier. Three Theta Chi fraternity brothers also joined in the festivities. Tim’s sister, Suzy, also rallied Tim’s family, friends, and coworkers. 

Left: L-R: Tim “Muttz” Whelan ’76, Vern Ingham ’75, Fred Margerum ’75 (photo taken at his “cabin”), Mark Kokayko ’75

The response was overwhelming! The weather was perfect, as 110 golfers played eighteen holes and were later joined by another eighty people who attended the post-event dinner and celebration, all which honored Tim’s memory and benefited Forbes Hospice. Twenty-three tee sponsorships were received from corporations and individuals. Several people that couldn’t make it sent donations for the hospice. Suzy’s employer, Trafalgar Tours, donated a tour of Ireland, which was auctioned off to benefit the hospice.

The event raised more than $6,000, which will help purchase new bed chairs for patient rooms. These chairs are unique, in that they can be converted to beds, so that family members can comfortably stay with their loved ones. The golf outing coordinators refer to these as the “Muttz Chairs.”

“While my brother was in the hospital, my family and I spent many nights sleeping in uncomfortable chairs,” Suzy said. “We are thrilled our donation will be used to make families comfortable as they stay with their loved ones at Hospice.”

Muttz loved his family and friends and loved to joke around and have a great time. The “Muttz Classic” was a perfect tribute to a life well lived.

L-R: Vern Ingham ’75, Cathy Turano Ingham ’77, Suzy Whelan (Tim’s sister), Pat Lanigan ’72

L-R: Theta Xi members Fred Margerum ’75, Vern Ingham ’75, Mark “Coyote” Kokayko ’75, Jim Jones ’75
“Kentucky Derby Weekend” is a reunion held in Harrisburg at Fred Margerum's place every first weekend of May.

L-R: Theta Xi members Jim Jones ’75, Vern Ingham ’75, Fred Margerum ’75, Mark “Coyote” Kokayko ’75

L-R: Jim Jones ’75, Vern Ingham ’75, Mark “Coyote” Kokayko ’75, Suzy Whelan (Tim’s sister), Cathy Turano Ingham ’77 (Vern’s wife—Sigma Kappa)

Golf tournament winners on the course. This Theta Xi foursome won the golf tournament.
L-R: Danny Fantaski ’73, M’88, Pat Lanigan ’72, Bob Garrity ’72, Don Koncsol ’71

Sandy Kozlowski Jones ’74, one of the organizers, was in Delta Zeta sorority. She is married to Jim “Jonesie” Jones ’75, right. At left is Mark “Coyote” Kokayko ’75

This Theta Xi foursome won the golf tournament. The winners of the golf tournament received these gag jackets as a prize for winning (from Goodwill!). 
L-R: Bob Garrity ’72, Pat Lanigan ’72, Don Koncsol ’71, Danny Fantaski ’73, M’88

Theta Chi brothers came to show their support and meet up with old friends. Theta Chis were close friends with the Theta Xi brothers.
L-R: Jim Kerns ’75, Kurt Schweitzer ’75, Mick Debbis ’75

L-R: Kurt Schweitzer ’75, Jim Kerns ’75, Mick Debbis ’75

Theta Xi brothers
L-R: John “Gio” Giannone ’74, Dave D’Andrea ’76, Dave “Goose” Griffith ’74, Gary “D” DeLorenzo ’74, Charlie Tate ’75, Len “Punky” Bubri ’74

Theta Xi Brothers
Front, L-R: Charlie Tate ’75, Len “Punky” Bubri ’74
Back, L-R: Dave “Goose” Griffith ’74, Jim “Jonesie” Jones ’75, Dave D’Andrea ’76, Mark “Coyote” Kokayko ’75, Fred Margerum ’75, Vern Ingham ’75

Theta Xi brothers with Suzy Whelan
Fred Margerum ’75, Don Koncsol ’71, Charlie Tate ’75, Mark “Coyote” Kokayko ’75, Carl “Stumpy” Parise ’73, Dick Mogel, Vern Ingham ’75, Jim “Jonesie” Jones ’75, Ken “Puckhead” Richert ’79, Gary “D” DeLorenzo ’74, Len “Punky” Bubri ’74, Dave “Goose” Griffith ’74, Dave D’Andrea ’76, John “Gio” Giannone ’74, Suzy Whelan (Tim’s sister), Pete “Peto” Catone ’73, Danny Fantaski ’73, M’88, Pat “Lips” Lanigan ’72

For more photos, visit this album on Snapfish. 

For more information, please contact Cathy Turano Ingham at inghamcj@comcast.net.

(February 2008)