Thomas B. Whalen, a retired Baltimore police officer and antiques collector, died Tuesday of cancer at St. Joseph Medical Center. He was 72.
Mr. Whalen was born in Baltimore and raised on Ashland Avenue. After graduating from Patterson Park Senior High School in 1959, he worked for Black & Decker Corp. for several years before joining the Baltimore Police Department in 1962.
He began his career in the Northeastern District, where he walked a foot patrol in the area of 25th Street and Harford Road, and later was assigned to a radio car in Northwood.
In 1964, he joined the department's Traffic Division and directed traffic at Calvert and Saratoga streets. Three years later, Mr. Whalen was assigned to the newly created Traffic Education Safety Unit, where he visited city public schools, making children aware of safety issues.
He later transferred to the Planning and Research Division, where he worked for many years until retiring in 1989.
During his 27-year career, the Parkville resident earned two departmental commendations, including one for arresting a prisoner who escaped from what was then Baltimore City Hospitals, now Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.
Mr. Whalen was an avid collector of local nautical, political and brewery memorabilia. He also was a calligrapher and scrimshaw artist.
His wife of 39 years, the former Maryland Bevans, died in 2005.
Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Friday at St. Thomas' Episcopal Church, 1108 Providence Road, Towson, where he had been a longtime communicant.
Surviving are two cousins, Tony Jeffery of Oliver Beach and Joseph Rolland of Ocean City; and three nieces.