Harold Duane Whaley, long-time resident of Felton, CA, went to the place prepared for him in heaven (John 14:2-4) at the age of 63, surrounded by the love of his family. For a year and a half, Harold fought against the invasion in his body in typical fashion for him – with courage, perseverance, and strong faith. Ultimately, cancer won the battle but Harold won the war as he's now face-to-face with Jesus.
Harold was born in Sacramento and lived there on a farm until he moved to Loomis, CA, at age 12. He attended Sierra College and Sacramento State University, graduating with a degree in Administration of Justice. He then went through the police academy in Modesto and later earned a K-12 teaching credential.
Always interested in public service, Harold joined the Placer County Explorers, became a volunteer fire fighter, and spent his first few years in law enforcement as a sheriff's deputy in Truckee, CA, where he met and married Kanda W. Kelley. They spent two years in Lone Pine, CA, and then settled in Felton where Harold spent 24 years with the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office, ultimately being promoted as the department's first Correctional Sergeant.
To say Harold was an avid bicyclist is putting it mildly! His love of cycling included taking excursions to places like Big Sur, the Sierras, Portland, Colorado, the East Coast, Switzerland, and the coast from Canada to Mexico. He completed many century rides as well as twenty Davis Double Centuries and five Markleeville Death Rides (the latest one with stage 4 cancer). He loved riding up local mountain roads and spending time with his bicycle buddies. His biggest cycling accomplishment was in 2013 when he peddled 3,800 miles from Oregon to Maine.
An even greater passion, however, was serving the Lord by serving others. Harold was an elder at Felton Presbyterian Church and volunteered in many capacities, most recently as the sound technician and head of the Building and Grounds team. He was a born builder, fix-it guy, and rescuer of all things needing repair or attention. He served the poor and needy around the globe, volunteering to build and repair structures in Romania and Brazil, and following natural disasters in Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Colorado. On the side, he hand-dug graves at the Felton Cemetery for 25 years and performed body removals for two local mortuaries. In this way, he said, he could serve in a role that could be tough for others to do.
Harold is survived by his wife of 38 years, Kanda Whaley, his son Derek R. Whaley and daughter-in-law Kara Kennedy, his daughter Jenna K. Whaley Coura and son-in-law Henrique Coura, precious granddaughter Clara Whaley Coura, mother Barbara F. Whaley, brother and sister-in-law Glenn and Sue Whaley, brother and sister-in-law Roy and Mary Whaley, beloved siblings through marriage Bob and Klinda Burke, Kasma Kelley, Korwin and Rose Kelley, and treasured extended family members. He is proceeded in death by his father, Dale W. Whaley, nephew Daniel "Bo" Whaley, and parents-in-law Win and Catherine "Kitty" Kelley.
Harold has lived his favorite scripture: "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith" (2 Tim 4:7).
A celebration of Harold's new life with Christ will be held at Felton Presbyterian Church, 6090 Highway 9, on Sunday, August 13th, at 2:00 p.m. Law enforcement and firefighter friends are welcome to wear uniforms in honor of Harold's service. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to his beloved Felton Presbyterian Church.