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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  1. Patrick,
    What a wonderful and moving tribute to your mother. Thank you for posting this very personal message. I was, and I believe others also will be, comforted and blessed by your insightful words on the love that passed between you and your mother. In a few well-chosen words you have shown how the gift of a mother’s love continues to give long past death. I pray that the love she gave will continue to bloom and grow in each and every member of your family.

    1. Thank you, Kris, for your kind words and your support. I feel truly blessed to have such good friends in my online life, and I really appreciate how well you understand the nature of my experiences with Mom. God bless you!

  2. Patrick,
    Your mother sounds like a wonderful woman. How amazing that she got her GED in her 50s, and then went on to college!
    My deepest sympathies for your loss.

    1. Thank you, Linda. It is so wonderful when the facts of our lives line up with the sort of person who we really are -- in my Mom's case, it was definitely true that all the wonderful lines of her life's resume really did represent her personality. She was a life-long volunteer, a long-time avid reader, and a spiritually strong and kind person who demonstrated her strength by perseverance and a quiet determination to do the right thing. Thank you so much for your kind words and your support.

  3. Pat -
    Thank you for sharing something so personal and sad. No person close to me has died other than watching my dog and 2 cats die in my arms - and they have my family. So, I can only imagine what it must have been like for you to be with your Mom as she exhaled her last breaths. At the same time, what I take away most is the amazing woman your Mom was. And it is obvious that everything important to her, she passed along to you. Blessings upon you, Pat.


  4. Thank you, Monique. I feel so blessed by your friendship!

    As I reflect on my Mom's life, I realize anew that there is such a fine outline to life, with so much outside the lines as well as within...

    There are such precious joys to be had in these days and times that we all share - and that the luckiest of us get to share with those who we love most.

    I hope all my friends get to enjoy the kind of happiness I shared with my Mom and Dad and my brother and our whole big wonderful family (and our extended family of friends and neighbors and good fellows, including a whole lot of feline and canine 'people', too).

    Thank you so much for your support.

  5. So sorry to hear about the passing of your mom. She sounds like a woman who survived a lot but turned her trials into blessings for others. My prayers are with you and your family.