My sweet father died today. Even though he had been seriously ill recently, and not in the best health for many years, I still somehow figured he'd be around forever. My heart is broken. Our family takes solace in the fact that Dad died happy while watching his beloved Notre Dame leading USC. And the way we see it, if the cancer hadn't killed him, the way that game ended surely would have. I sure will miss those blue eyes and that sharp tongue. I love you, Dad.
William Walsh, 73, of Schuylkill Haven, Pa., died Saturday at the Rest Haven nursing home.
He was born in Pottsville on Sept. 5, 1932, to Michael F. "Mickey" Walsh, who was a boxing promoter and a sportswriter for the Republican, and the former Stella Ryan. Both parents are deceased.
Walsh was a member of the Catholic faith and a proud Irish-American who shared his father's love for sports, especially Notre Dame football. He served in the Air Force in the Korean War and raised three sons with the former Molly Kull in the Detroit area, where he worked for General Motors Corp. before returning to Pennsylvania for nursing-home care in the early 1970s.
He was preceded in death by his son Kevin; his twin brother, Kenneth; two other brothers; and four sisters. He is survived by his sons William of Washington, D.C., Terence of Chandler, Ariz., and Kenneth of New York City; his brother Joseph of Littlestown, Pa.; and nieces and nephews.
Family and friends are invited for visitation from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at Robert A. Evans Funeral Home, Port Carbon. Services will be held at 5:30 p.m. from the funeral home with Monsignor Edward O'Connor officiating. He will be buried with his son Kevin in Arlington National Cemetery.
Photos (starting at top):
1. My Uncle Kenny (left) and my dad (right), the twins, duke it out in the boxing ring while their older brother, my Uncle Bob, referees, circa 1937.
2. Dad with his new son (me!), 1967.
3. My dad and my brother Billy (my favorite picture of them).
4. The Walsh men go to Washington, circa 1970 (Dad's holding me; Terence has the kickass Fisher-Price camera!).
5. Dad and me, 1993.