Mr. Francis William Whitehead Jr., 76, of Danvers, beloved husband of M. Ellen (Flynn) Whitehead, died peacefully Friday, June 19, at Lahey Clinic in Burlington, following a valiant battle with the Coronavirus.
Born in Lynn, he was the son of the late Francis W. Sr. “Duke” and Marguerite (Gully) Whitehead. He was raised and educated in Salem and was a graduate of Salem High School, Class of 1961. He continued his education at Newman Preparatory School in Boston.
An honorably discharged veteran, he served his country for over 25 years as a member of the United States Army National Guard.
Mr. Whitehead had a pioneering career in the Graphic Design and Advertising Industry with the Salem News and the Lynn Item newspapers. Professionally he was well respected for his business acumen and ability to connect with others.
A loving husband, father, grandfather and friend, Frank was a member of the Knights of Columbus - St. Mary of the Annunciation Parish in Danvers and for many years was a Danvers Youth Soccer coach. Early in life he was a Certified Ski Instructor and worked independently with Salomon North America. In retirement he was a well-respected United States Tennis Association Official.
Frank found great joy in helping others. He brought much delight and happiness to many children and families during the Christmas season as “Santa Fran”, volunteering time to children’s charities and spreading the spirit of the season. For many years he served as Santa on the Polar Express. He will be remembered and loved by his family, many friends, and colleagues.
Fran is survived by his loving wife of 49 years, M. Ellen (Flynn) Whitehead of Danvers, his sons, Daniel Francis Whitehead and his partner, Michael of Manchester-by-the-Sea, Timothy Brian Whitehead and his wife, Claire of Hudson and Kevin Matthew Whitehead and his wife, Sye-Na of North Andover, his grandchildren, William, Winston and Rylie-Ann Celine and extended family and many friends. He was predeceased by his son, Brian Michael Whitehead.
A celebration of Fran’s life will be held in the future at a date and time to be announced. Assisting the family with the arrangements is the Peterson-O’Donnell Funeral Home, 167 Maple St., (Route 62) Danvers. Private Burial in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Salem. In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy may be made in Fran’s memory to the Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund, c/o Foundation for Business Equity, 265 Franklin Street, BOX 304, Boston MA 02110 and Toys for Tots, 1st Battalion 25th Marines, 53 Quebec St., Fort Devens MA, 01452 and Service Dog Project, 37 Boxford Rd., Ipswich, MA 01938. Sharing written remembrances and condolences, during this time will be essential in helping Fran’s family reminisce, celebrate and heal. We encourage you to share your memories by visiting his eternal tribute at odonnellfuneralservice.com