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Whalen-Ayyappan, Joan

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April 20, 1957 - August 26, 2015

Whalen-Ayyappan, Joan

Our beloved wife, mother, sister, aunt and friend was born April 20, 1957 in Troy, NY and passed away on August 26, 2015 in Carrollton, TX at the age of 58.

In addition to being an A+ spouse, mother, sister, aunt, and friend, Joan was an extraordinary college educator.

Joan, whose lineage was Native American  and Irish, married her much loved husband from India, DP Ayyappan in 1983. They lived in Richardson, Texas where they celebrated the joy of the birth of their daughter Kartika in 1997.

Joan supported her daughter and many other students as a leader and constant volunteer involved in PTA, Girl Scouts, and Richardson High School Band. She also enjoyed pottery.

Joan earned an MS in Econometrics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and was in the process of finishing her doctorate. She worked as a professor at DeVry University for 32 years teaching math, economics, and statistics. Many students were helped through subjects they considered impassable by the encouragement and illustrations given by the professor they called “Ms. Whalen. ”

She was preceded in death by her parents, Edward J. Whalen and Martha Wallace Whalen.

Joan is survived by her husband DP Ayyappan and daughter Kartika Ayyappan. She was the sister of Diana (Michael) O’Brien, aunt of Martha (Jason) Goldstein, Nora (Matthew) Gleason, Colleen O’Brien (Brendan Kennedy) all of Albany, NY. She was the great aunt of Ariel Goldstein. She also has extensive family in India and USA.

Joan spent the past year in a brave battle against a brain tumor and was surrounded by an army of family members and friends. Joan lived her life in a way that can be compared to a vintner. The wine maker cherishes the golden and scarlet globes of sweet goodness and extracts the heart of wine. Joan lived her life to the fullest in much the same way. After an exhausting year of battle, Joan saw her precious daughter start her college. All the necessary affairs were in order. Her soul saw that it was good and quietly slipped away. God speed. God speed.

The family held a private service honoring Joan’s life.

In lieu of flowers and to honor Joan’s life, memorials may be made to the National Brain Tumor Society or the cancer organization of your choice.


Arrangements are under the direction of:
ARIA Cremation Service and Funeral Home
10116 E Northwest Highway
Dallas, TX 75238

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Denise & Lauren Kettenhofen

September 01, 2015 11:30PM

Joan was a very involved mother - always willing to volunteer at MST Elementary, where I met her, and later for RHS Band where our paths crossed again, as well as Girl Scout events. She was a wonderful person, kind, genuine and hardworking. May loving memories of Joan bring you peace, comfort, and strength.

Kristen Falies

September 01, 2015 3:11PM

I knew Joan through many years of Girl Scouts and MST elementary. She was always very generous with her time and efforts to help the whole group. She was funny and kind and always seem to have a smile on her face. Although I have not seen her in years. I have many amazing memories of her and wish her family comfort in this very difficult time.