Garry Michael Whalen, 72, of Fort Myers, Florida, died Dec. 13, 2023. He was born January 12, 1951, in Yonkers, New York to Martin and Veronica (née Tynan) Whalen.

Whalen began working with the New Jersey School Boards Association as its assistant director of labor relations in 1977 and served as the director of the labor relations department from 1978 to 1984.

During his tenure, he was instrumental in expanding many labor relations services, including programs, publications and the NJSBA Negotiations Service.  He later became a partner in the negotiations firm of Taylor, Whalen and Hybbeneth and represented many school boards in their labor negotiations for many years before retiring to Florida.

He graduated from City College of New York and then earned his master’s degree from the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations. After Cornell, he went on to teach labor relations and collective bargaining at Indiana University. He had a long and well-regarded career as a negotiator in the state of New Jersey, according to his obituary.

He enjoyed running for most of his life and would go out for long runs with the family dog, Sandy, in the area around the home in New Jersey. He was an avid reader of fiction and history. He loved beaches and found a wonderful home and community on Sanibel Island, Florida. He was a consistent volunteer at F.I.S.H.

Garry is survived by his wife, Eileen; his brother Thomas; his sons, Sean (wife, Hathaway) and Michael (wife Michelle); and three grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in memory of Garry Michael Whalen are suggested to F.I.S.H. of Sanibel.

Baldwin Brothers Funeral & Cremation Society, Fort Myers, handled his arrangements.