Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Monsignor Francis J. Ansbro: a Full Life, and a Full Heart

By Patrick J. Walsh

My friend Francis has died.

After 87 years on this Earth, 47 of which he spent in service to the Roman Catholic community of Peekskill, New York at the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, Monsignor Francis J. Ansbro has entered into eternal life.

Along with the large number of those whose lives he impacted as a priest, I mourn his loss, and marvel at the results of his ministry.

It is heartening to realize that even in this time when the average person doesn't hear a whole lot of praise for the priestly life, there are those whose example makes it easy to see and celebrate the virtues of the humble Catholic clergyman.

Monsignor Ansbro saying Mass for my parents' 25th wedding anniversary, June, 1973.

But even as I ponder his achievements — so evident in the tender recollections of his fellow priests, and the fervent admiration of the parishioners he served — I cannot help but think of him, simply, as my friend Francis.

In my recollections, he is still the bright, innocent-looking young man who seemed more like an older brother or youthful uncle when I was a child; the wise, gentle friend chatting with my Dad and Mom across the dinner table when I was a young man; and finally, my dear old friend in those increasingly rare moments when we ran into each other in later years, as he struggled with ill health and I dealt with the usual preoccupations of approaching middle age.

Other than my beloved aunt, who is a Dominican Sister, Monsignor Ansbro was the formative inspiration of my understanding of the religious as warm and welcoming individuals with full lives and full hearts.

His humility and kindness were evident in every interaction I ever had with him, over the entire course of the time I knew him.

Although his understanding of life was far advanced from my own, and by virtue of his profession, education and experience he was far superior in wisdom and understanding, he approached me always, simply, as a friend.

When I was a child, he delighted in chatting about baseball or talking about my favorite foods, or making silly puns. In the midst of a conversation with my Mom and Dad and I, he would nonchalantly refer to himself as "Ancis Fansbro" — and then slyly sneak a look at each of us to see how long it would take for us to realize what he'd said.

In my mid-20s, when my Dad was preparing for his own rapidly approaching death, at an age that still seems far too young for all those who knew and loved him, Father Ansbro shared the experience with us as deeply as any family member.

Looking back in recent days, I've come to realize that he and my Dad had been friends for some 22 years at the time of Dad's passing — fully a third of my father's entire life. And I remember vividly the gentle priest's words of admiration for the way in which Dad dealt with his final illness, when he said he'd never seen anyone approach death with such faith.

As an adult, I'd like to think that I was always on my best behavior whenever I was in the presence of my friend Francis. He did after all inspire the best instincts in me; and yet his casual good humor and gentle manner never failed to put me at ease, and I always felt free to express my thoughts with him as I would with any other close friend.

For all the familiarity that he engendered, however, he was still first and foremost a dedicated servant of God. I consider it a great blessing that I was able to personally witness his extraordinary devotion to the church, even in trying or difficult circumstances.

In that light I recall the time we spent together in the early 1980s, when Father Ansbro accompanied Dad and Mom and I on a vacation to my parents' summer cottage in Maine. I remember how he delighted in saying Mass each day, sharing the Eucharist with us at a makeshift altar in the modest cottage in the remote Maine woods.

He faithfully brought us to the Lord's table each day during our sojourn together, despite having badly cut his foot while swimming in the lake on the first day of the trip.

We shared the blessings of faith and family and friendship, then and throughout the years, and I feel blessed to have grown up with such a positive role model for my Catholic faith, and with such a good and kind friend.

In this time of mourning our loss and celebrating the gift of his life, I pray for him, and for all those he loved.

© Patrick J. Walsh

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A First Anniversary

by Patrick J. Walsh

Today is the 65th anniversary of my parents' wedding.

They celebrated 39 anniversaries together, and after Dad passed away, Mom and I marked the day together for 25 more years, always with some little celebration and many happy memories.

Those memories resonate with a special poignancy today, as I mark the occasion for the first time since my Mom passed away at the end of last year.

I remember Mom's description of the young couple driving up Route 9 through Sleepy Hollow and Ossining in their tattered little "Willys" — the compact sedan manufactured by the company that was more famous for producing Jeeps during World War II.

Tired after a long week at work, driving along on their weekly pilgrimage from their apartment in Brooklyn to visit Dad's large Irish family in the suburbs, they would sing at the top of their lungs to keep themselves awake. The fact that they "couldn't carry a tune in a bucket," as Mom used to say, only added to the delight they took in being silly, and being together.

Then there's the day Dad graduated from Saint John's. Having spent the entirety of World War II in the U.S. Navy, Dad went to college in his 20s and worked hard to earn his degree. By the time of his graduation, he had been married for years, and Mom had become seriously ill with tuberculosis and was in the hospital.

Graduation day was also visiting day at the hospital, and Dad opted to skip commencement to spend the day with Mom instead. "I wouldn't have gotten through school if not for her support," he explained to his own Mom, gently breaking the news that he wouldn't be attending the graduation ceremony.

And then there's the day Dad and I went to the Mets game together and ate at the park. Dad was on a diet at the time; Mom would carefully select low-calorie items when she was shopping, and prepared meals designed to help him trim down.

The day of the game, Dad and I hadn't eaten before we got to the ballpark, so we each got a hot dog and a soda. He grinned, "Don't tell your mother," while we ate; and then we watched the game and enjoyed a terrific afternoon together. Hours later, when we got home, Mom greeted us with a big smile.

"How was the game?"

Dad, suddenly looking for all the world like his eight year old son, shrugged and glanced sheepishly at the floor: "I ate a hot dog." And together, they laughed.

That was how they were: innocent, kind, thoughtful; and brilliant. They always thought of each other first, and they dealt with problems with a gentle good humor and a simple devotion — to their children, their faith, their family, their community, and their country. And of course, most of all, they were devoted to each other.

"We celebrate life," Mom used to say.

Today, and every day, with gratitude and joyous memories, I celebrate their life.

© Patrick J. Walsh

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

This is a Moment: Julie Corbalis at MTK Tavern, Mount Kisco

By Patrick J. Walsh

Little flashes of images spark like photos tossed across a table, and sounds mix awkwardly as I try to focus on the topic at hand.

On the stage at the far end of the room, there is a vision, a voice, a melody; at a nearby table, the chatter and clatter of a small party enjoying a late dinner is punctuated by vigorous applause at the conclusion of each song.

At one point, an inopportune cheering erupts in response to a goal scored in an NHL playoff game, which is transmitted to the revelers at the bar via an overhead television screen. The spontaneous celebration is quickly cut off as abruptly as it begins, out of respect for the live performance taking place a mere few yards away.

Such is the warmth of the moment, and the benevolent mix of performer and venue on this cool night in spring.

And, after a long while in which I have found it difficult to write about music, I have found my way back to one of my favorite subjects.

The occasion: a string of special bookings, the "Women and Music Spotlight Series" at MTK Tavern in Mount Kisco, New York. On this particular evening, the artist is singer-songwriter Julie Corbalis, a long-time favorite in the local area.

The venue's furnishings bespeak its casual elegance: to the left upon entering, there is a long row of square shiny tables, each accompanied by four tall stools, all adorned with a gleaming ebony finish.

To the right, the long, fine-grained wood bar stretches from the entrance to the stage area; and above and behind the bar multiple large TVs are displayed like living fine art prints, each opening a window on a different sporting event.

One screen over from Sidney Crosby leading the Penguins past the Islanders in the NHL playoffs, the Yankees are winning early on the West Coast; on the set above the near end of the bar, my beloved Mets are losing at home.

On this night, though, the triumphs and travails of the games overhead are lost in the friendly, informal, inviting atmosphere of the place.

Julie Corbalis is an ideal performer for such a venue.

In her selection of songs and the smoothness of her presentation, she is well equipped for the challenges of the 'home crowd' context that characterizes intimate settings like MTK Tavern — a milieu that simultaneously ensures respectful support and the expectation of a first-rate performance.

The result is a winning mix of classic rock, folk standards and deep-catalog covers, all wrapped within a leavening blend of Ms. Corbalis' own original songs.

Her wide range of musical fascinations, so well expressed in her choice of songs to cover, is also amply displayed in the breadth of interest and diversity of approach that characterize her songwriting.

The emotional content of her own songs runs the gamut from sardonic admonition (the cleverly written "Should've Stayed Away") to flat-out protest ("Shame on You, Verizon") to loving pastoral ("Belgian Countryside").

Delivered in warm, resonant tones that invite friendly interest, in a setting conducive to active and attentive listening, these are the kinds of songs that shape those moments that brighten the spirit and offer a real hope for a vibrant, sustainable nightlife in these often-quiet suburbs.


Located at 30 East Main Street in Mount Kisco, MTK Tavern features a daily lunch and dinner menu and a wide variety of beverages. The "Women and Music Spotlight Series" continues on Wednesday evenings at 8:30 pm, featuring Kris Cambria on May 15; Ams Palmieri on May 22; and at 7:30 on May 29, a double bill featuring the Knox Sisters and Alison Shearer. Find the full schedule at; 914-218-3334.

For more information about Julie Corbalis, see her official website at

Also by Patrick J. Walsh:
Fred Gillen Jr.: Live in Peekskill and On Disc
That Every Mouth Can Be Fed: Remembering the Extraordinary Desmond Dekker
Earth Day Memories: Greetings From A Small Planet
The Perfect Dive

About the Author:
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Videos by Patrick J. Walsh
Pat's Official Site: Echoes Among the Stars

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Cicada Song

By Patrick J. Walsh

Walking in the park near twilight in these early days of Spring, when the shadows stretch deeply onto the far bank of the pond, it is difficult to miss the odd humming sound in the air.

The unmistakable murmur of cicadas in the midst of their mating ritual, the droning buzz rushes out across the surface of the water like a swarm of bees passing through a hollow log.

It is an evocative music, the cicada song. For the wanderer in the park, it recalls magical nights of summers long past, and the hidden joy of sudden encounters with the living presence of nature in the midst of a warm summer's evening.

In the case of the insects themselves, however, the humming represents the soundtrack of a brief, remarkable cycle of life that bespeaks both the wisdom and the wonder of nature's strange logic.

While "annual" varieties of cicadas appear every year, the particular insects now in the park are most probably of the Magicicada genus — the so-called "periodical" cicadas.

These cicadas live underground for a period of 13 or 17 years, and then emerge in massive numbers for a brief mating period before they die, leaving their progeny to begin again the long cycle of nurture underground.

The sound of the cicada's song is produced by the rapid vibration of membranes on the insect's abdomen. The vibration of the membranes, which are properly known as tymbals, produces a chirping that is then amplified by chambers within the creature's respiratory system. Male cicadas "sing" the song in large choruses to attract females.

In accordance with the science of the identification system devised by entomologist C. L. Marlatt in 1907, the insects in the park are most likely Brood II cicadas, of the 17-year variety.

It is the poetry of their appearance, however, that leaves a lasting impression. After 17 years underground — a period in which the human world routinely sees the utter transformation of leading personalities and technologies and societies — these tiny creatures struggle upward through a foot or more of soil to emerge, all at once, in the still-chilly air of the early hintings of summer.

They spend their brief time on the surface in the pursuit of a mate, in the interest of ensuring the propagation of their species. Then, after a period of several weeks to several months, their course is run, and their song withers to the last few chirrups of those who remain at the end, like the sound of a valiant heart drumming its last in the moments before death.

As all falls silent, the purpose of the cicadas' brief time on the surface is accomplished in the production and hatching of their eggs, ensuring the promise of a new generation.

The newborn nymphs fall like raindrops from the twigs where the eggs were laid, and upon landing on grass or soil, they burrow downward, to begin another long cycle of life underground.

Meanwhile, their song sung, the adult cicadas die off. The tone and timbre of their particular sound vanishes once more from the landscape, hidden away in the dust of the Earth and the promise of their descendants, not to be heard again until the first chilly days of Spring, 17 years on...

© Patrick J. Walsh

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Song of Summer

By Patrick J. Walsh

Tentative, faint; echoing in the sweetness of the memories they invoke and aching in the evanescent traces of the comfort they promise, the sounds of summer are in the park these days.

This is the first of Spring, in its early bloom, when the weather routinely betrays the best impulses of the seasons.

Surfaced from memory, whispers of bright, gentle mornings and soft afternoons tug at my tired soul, and I pull my jacket close against the coolness of the day.

As I set out, the weak, scattered sunlight shares only a hollow warmth. Farther along, I wander beneath clouds heavy with rain, and crosswinds jostle at my arms and legs, indifferent to my progress.

In the open area near the lake, the sputtering folds of wind recall the "hup-hup-hup" of a little boy approximating a primitive flute by blowing across the neck of an open soda bottle.

On the far side of the water, in the chill darkness beneath the cover of the canopy of trees, the cicadas are fooled into an early burst of song.

Their staccato melody echoes across the windy surface of the lake like an invocation, bringing golden remembrance of the hushed tones of quiet exchanges in the twilight of warm days past.

There is not yet the flutter of leaves on branches touched by the tiny limbs of birds; nor is there the bright splash of a fish struggling down the stream toward the lake; nor the hum of insects flashing along the trail at the edge of the paved road.

But there are the sounds of ancient campfires: the pop and hiss of burning twigs, their tiny flames nurtured by the coaxing breath of some long ago mother or father, while the squeals of delighted children echo nearby.

And with my eyes gently closed, paused in my forward progress by some intimation of welcome, I hear the murmur of the woods calling out through the sultry stillness of a summer night, and the wordless yearning of a wish made in silence at the sight of a star falling from the summer sky.

In the park, on a chilly day in Spring, the cicadas hum, and in the breath of the wind, I hear the sounds of summer.

© Patrick J. Walsh

Monday, April 22, 2013

Celebrating Earth Day: A Moment in Light

By Patrick J. Walsh

On this day that we set aside to think about the Earth, it is instructive to imagine that moment, far back in the gray darkness of our infant civilization, when the first primitive human first became aware of a larger dimension to his or her own landscape.

photo courtesy of NASA
In the thin, weak light of that moment — or, perhaps, that series of moments in which the idea came and went, until it ultimately took hold — there is the start of our collective yearning to understand our place in the cosmos, and to discern the mile markers on the road of our collective journey.

Watch the video: A Moment in Light

And it is instructive, as we try to enrobe that moment with details of time and place and person, to further imagine a subsequent point in the vast history of our living here — to try to imagine the distinct moment in our collective consciousness when humanity first thought of the Earth not merely as the place where we find ourselves, but also as the place that we call our home.

In all that that transition implies, the Earth is after all the museum of our fondest memories of the past, and the canvas for the realization of our most cherished hopes for the future.

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Pat's video series "Five Minutes in Space"

As we imagine the primitive whose awareness was archetype of the perspective that has come to inform our modern understanding of the world, it is difficult to dismiss the responsibility that we now face in our sophistication.

Given the depth of our own awareness and the abundance of our blessings, it seems reasonable to assert that it is incumbent upon us to treat our Earth with the same sort of care that we each would, at our best, treat our individual dwellings, as we live out our lives in the best traditions of respect and honor for our neighbors, our community, and all the larger world around us.

Perhaps most importantly, as we mark this particular Earth Day and the grandeur of all that its celebration implies, maybe we can finally begin to learn to live as a family — aware of our differences in general, proud of our specific place in the group as a whole, and ultimately, all encompassing in our tolerance and kindness toward each other, wherever we may reside on this small planet.

© Patrick J. Walsh

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Hare and the Bear

By Patrick J. Walsh

As I walk by, unaware of their doings, a small group of animals gathers in an open patch of grass in the woods, a short distance from the edge of the paved road in the park.

They are discussing their upcoming spring play — a rollicking presentation based on The Knight's Tale, from Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.

The largest of the group, obviously in charge of the production, is a small bear. He surveys the collection of dramatis personae and, in a quiet aside to his assistant — a large hare — he begins to run down the list of roles and the animals necessary to fulfill them:

"So we've got the owl to play Theseus and the ground hog for Aegeus, and the three deer for Palamon and Arcite and Emily —"

"Yes, yes," the hare replies, impatient. "But I've already told you, it's not the character roles you have to worry about. I'm worried about the background players — like for instance, who will play the magical forest creatures who scurry away when the trees are cut down for Arcite's funeral pyre?"

The bear replies with a sigh and a wave of his paw — a gesture that, while unintentional in its effect, nonetheless causes the hare to dodge quickly out of the way.

"Not this again — again with the trees?"

"Well it's important," the hare persists. "It makes a huge impact on an audience, how the background is constructed. If we're going to have magical creatures and trees being cut down, we need to think about that."

"All right, all right. So who do you want for the trees?"

"Well it depends on what kind of tree —"

Growing impatient, the bear brings his paw down heavily on a small clump of wizened sod, sending a loud ‘whump’ off echoing among the slanted rays of sunlight scattered through the woods.

“Okay then,” he responds, obviously trying to stay his annoyance, “what kind of tree? For instance?”

For his part, the hare responds with the first small sign of a smile, the corners of his tiny mouth quivering slightly as he asks:

"Well, a dogwood, for example. I mean, who can we get to play a good dogwood? What sort of an animal will be willing to play a dogwood tree?"

Utterly unaware that he is being led toward a punchline, the bear wearily re-traces the hare's rhetorical question in the sprightly wind of the lovely spring afternoon:

"I don't know… what sort of animal would make a good dogwood tree?"

Tittering slightly while taking a beat — and carefully moving himself several steps away from his much-larger friend — the hare responds:

"Well… a dog would."

And somewhere, some half a mile or so away, I stop suddenly in the midst of my walk, certain that I hear something… something, oddly enough, that sounds sort of like a large hare, laughing hysterically, and a small bear, moaning indulgently.

As the sounds fade, I wonder how I’ve come to think of Chaucer and his Tales, as I wander along the edge of the woods, eyeing the rough bark of the dogwoods on this fine sunny afternoon in the park.

* * *

Did you know?: The oldest existing reference to the dogwood tree in an English language manuscript is found in “The Knight’s Tale,” from Geoffrey Chaucer’s fourteenth century masterpiece The Canterbury Tales (although it is referenced therein in various iterations by its earlier moniker, the archaic “whippletree,” or as “cornel,” which is a variant of the scientific name for its genus, Cornus).

© Patrick J. Walsh


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

At the Side of the Road

By Patrick J. Walsh

Today, as I trekked along my daily path in the park near my home, these days of Easter week brought to mind one of my favorite stories from the Bible: the description of the risen Christ walking with the disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24; 13-35).

The park often inspires me to reflect on sacred things, as its beauty transcends the effects of the heavy use it endures due to its location in a densely populated suburban area.

In the brief struggles of its smallest living creatures, as well as the vast slow turning of sky and wind and time that shapes even the largest of its sturdy trees and stone slopes, the park does, after all, know the particulars of life and death.

As I walked today, I thought of how Cleopas and the other disciple in the biblical account were joined on their journey by the stranger who they initially failed to recognize.

Making their way forward in his company, they burst forth with vivid accounts of the events that have led up to the Crucifixion, and they ponder the details of the first reports of the Resurrection. All the while, they have no idea that they are talking to the central figure of the events they are describing.

In the midst of my reflections, I stepped to the side of the paved road as a big red SUV rumbled by, revealing in its rush a mere glimpse of the bike pinioned to its rear door. A few minutes later, it rolled back down the road in the opposite direction, leading me to again step aside.

Walking the ancient road with their unknown companion, the disciples displayed an uncanny exuberance while recounting the events at the heart of their disappointment and sorrow.

I sometimes imagine the vague outline of a smile on the Holy countenance, as Jesus listened patiently to the worries of his companions before explaining to them how his life and death fit into the pattern of religious prophecy and the promise of human history.

In the park in these days of Easter twenty one centuries later, we speed past those gifts that serve as expressions of a larger wisdom, as we pass every treasure of wizened tree or turbid pond or clouded sky, lost in the frustrations and sadness of our own modern journey.

And sometimes as I walk, I wonder at all we might be missing when we fail to recognize the nature of all that accompanies us, as we make our way along the road each day.

© Patrick J. Walsh

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Walk in the Park: Patience

By Patrick J. Walsh

Cold wet darts of ice lashed at my coat as I pushed a thick wrap of snow off the hood of my car.

The storm had come late to this long, weary winter, and its intensity seemed an almost personal affront to those of us who have had cause enough already for sadness and struggle during these difficult days.

Fortunately, the sleet portion of the storm wound its way to exhaustion as the morning hours faded into the afternoon, and I made my way to the park as the day neared its end.

And then, as I walked in the sunlight, the glory of nature’s wise progress traced its line on my mind and spirit. 

Reflected off the clean carpet of snow, the light of the sun danced with a sparkling radiance, like a sprite in a tale once whispered by the very old to the very young.

And in an arc of water at the edge of the icy lid of the upper pond, the warmth of the sun opened a dappled window on the life of the fish and flora of the murky world below the surface.

The chill of the morning had given way to timid, tentative warmth; and in every yard of fading, melting snow there was witness to the passing of this long, exhausting winter.


As I made my way along my usual path, thinking of the progress of the day — from the sad, cold rain of morning to the hopeful, mild sunlight of the afternoon — I could not help but be overwhelmed by gratitude for the unfailing mechanisms of patience. 

One small soul grateful for the unanticipated mercy of a warm afternoon in March, I make my way forward through hard days one short stride at a time.

The larger life of the park, meanwhile, moves on with a majesty and radiance that is amplified by the incongruity of weather out of time, and indicative of nature’s stoic resolve, in the passing of day to day, and season to season.

© Patrick J. Walsh

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A Walk in the Park: Today

By Patrick J. Walsh

Today I walked in the park.

It has been nearly two and a half months since my Mom passed away, and today was the first day since her passing that I have been able to walk in the park.

Although I was by myself, I did not feel alone. It seemed as though I might be walking a bit slower than I have in the past, but that may have been an artifact of the emotions involved, or simply the result of my lingering reacquaintance with the pleasantness of my surroundings.

As I walked, my mind was awash in the notion of what it would be like to live a life of pure spirit. Unencumbered by the infirmities of age or illness or the limitations of this physical existence, the life of the spirit could be open to the experience of all good things, immediately, without reservation.

Following a physical life of faith and joy and the preparation born of the sharing of one’s experiences and treasure without hesitation, the life of the spirit seems a logical extension of a will well exercised in gratitude and service.

In recent days, the exhilaration of this line of thought has helped to temper the sadness of my grieving, and given rise to the kind of hope that sustains mourner and mystic alike.

In this time of Lenten temperance, it is a hope whose comfort is familiar to me, having been a part of all the Easters of my childhood, and a defining characteristic of my Holy Week preparations as an adult.

I walked in the park today. I was by myself, but I did not feel alone.

It is nice to know that we can walk together again, free of the limitations of age and infirmity and illness.

My steps are a little slower than they once were, my progress a little less than it will one day be. But it is good to walk again, and to not be alone.

© Patrick J. Walsh

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

In Loving Memory: Helen E. Walsh, Peekskill, New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Statement from Patrick J. Walsh

Mom and Pat
I am sad to have to begin this new year with some difficult news...

Those who know me well will understand the magnitude of the loss I feel at the passing of my Mom, Helen. All good things that have come to me in life radiated through my wonderful family, and my Mom and Dad and Grandfather remain always at the center of any good I have done or might ever do in my life.

As you may have ascertained from my writing, I believe human existence includes a broad spiritual dimension. That belief remains intact despite the extreme, intense tragedy that has played out in my life in the days since December 26.

Those of you who have first-hand knowledge of the crushing experience of shepherding a loved one through a final crisis in a hospital setting will understand the nature of what I have encountered during the past week.

From my place beside the bed, the message of those long hours — observed by some, but ignored by many — remains simple: Love above all, compassion and care of spirit before any necessity of medicine or physical limitation.

I turn now to memories of my dear Mom, and as always, I pledge to fulfill to the best of my ability the legacy she and my Dad and my grandfather have passed on to me. Please pray for them.
Helen E. Walsh, Peekskill, New York

Helen E. Walsh, wife of former Peekskill City Manager John E. Walsh, passed away Monday, December 31, 2012. She was 85 years old.

Helen was born in Brooklyn, New York to James and Sadie Holsgrove. Her mother died when she was 11 years old. After leaving high school to work at the Royal Globe and Liverpool Insurance Company, Helen met John and they were married at Assumption Church in Peekskill on June 26, 1948.

In the early 1950s, Helen survived a long battle with tuberculosis. After her recovery, she was very active as a volunteer in the church and community for many years. She worked as a religious instruction teacher at Assumption and at Holy Name of Mary in Croton, New York, and served at the Salvation Army Soup Kitchen in Peekskill for 11 years.

She returned to school in her 50s and received her GED diploma, and then attended college at Mercy College in Peekskill.

She is survived by two sons, Michael (and his wife, Eneida) and Patrick J. Walsh; and her grandchildren, whom she cherished, Kelliann, Michael Jr. and James.

She is also survived by her step-sister Dorothy Paul, of Merrick, New York; six beloved sisters-in-law: Mary Jane Wietsma, Sister Margaret Walsh, Helen Walsh, Ursula Walsh, Marie McKeon and Jean Ruh; and many nieces and nephews whom she dearly loved.

There will be a Mass of Christian Burial on Saturday, January 5, 2013 at 10 AM at Assumption Church, Peekskill. Friends may call on Friday, 2-4 PM and 7-9 PM at JOSEPH NARDONE FUNERAL HOME, Washington St., Peekskill. Burial will be at Assumption Cemetery in Cortlandt Manor.

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