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In memoriam: Carole J. Walsh

Carole J. Walsh, the wife of former CALS dean and emeritus professor Leo M. Walsh, died May 1. Her obituary, also published May 5 in Madison newspapers, follows.

MADISON – After courageously battling and recovering from a number of serious health problems over the past several years, Carole J. Walsh, age 74, died of pancreatic cancer on Tuesday, May 1, 2007, at the HospiceCare Center in Fitchburg. She was born on Oct. 2, 1932, the only child and daughter of Fred Kunz and Erna (Roloff) Kunz. She lived in Milwaukee with her parents until she married Leo M. Walsh on June 21, 1958, and then moved to Madison where she resided for the rest of her life.

After Carole completed high school she enrolled at Milwaukee State Teachers College (now UW-Milwaukee) and received a B.S. degree in special education in 1956. She taught mentally handicapped children for several years in Milwaukee, Madison, Monona and Verona. She was a sensitive and caring teacher, and was greatly appreciated for helping these special children prepare for their lives beyond their school days. Carole was always a very strong supporter of all educational programs, especially higher education at the UW-Madison. Carole was a kind, compassionate, generous person who had very good taste and artistic skills. And, even though Carole was a reserved person, she developed very strong lifelong relationships with many wonderful friends and relatives. She deeply cared for those close to her, and she always enjoyed being with them for holidays and social events.

She also enjoyed being with her husband at many functions sponsored by the UW-Madison and the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. Carole was a longtime member of the Daughters of Demeter, an organization that provides scholarships and sponsors several events in support of the College. Carole was a very active person throughout her life. She was an avid gardener and did much of the landscape work around her home. She enjoyed reading, knitting, doing crossword puzzles, playing bridge, going to movies and watching some of her favorite TV programs. She also loved to walk, especially in natural surroundings. She strongly supported programs that help protect nature and our environment. But perhaps her greatest passion was in designing, decorating and furnishing the homes and condos she lived in during her married life. Simply stated, she was gifted with talent that would rival the best professional home decorators. Carole also enjoyed having many opportunities to travel with her husband and friends. These included trips to many European countries, Egypt, Israel, Brazil, Peru, Mexico and Hawaii.

After her husband retired she spent nine winter seasons in Florida with many very close friends. This was a very happy and enjoyable part of Carole’s life. Carole was preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by her husband; her cousins, Jean Himmelstein of Phoenix, Ariz., Lynn Bjorklund of Dousman, Judy Earthian of Medford, Ore., and Allene Olson of Middleton; and her husband’s siblings and their families. Carole loved nature and all of God’s creatures, large and small. But most of all, she loved the dogs she had as companions for nearly all of her married life. Each pet — Fritzy, Sammy, Corky and Pepee — was special. Carole would be the first to tell you that the following saying is true, “dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.” The family sincerely thanks all the friends who helped so much during her long illness, and they thank Drs. Fleming and Hansen and their staff at the West Madison UW Health Clinic. In addition, Carole’s friends and relatives commend Hospice for their very professional help and their most sensitive care of Carole during her final difficult days.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to the UW Foundation-Carole Walsh Demeter Scholarship Fund, Box 8860, Madison, WI 53708-8860. Also, memorials can be made to HospiceCare, 5395 E. Cheryl Parkway, Madison, WI 53711. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at ST. THOMAS AQUINAS CATHOLIC CHURCH, 602 Everglade Drive, Madison, WI, on Saturday, May 5, 2007, beginning with visitation in the church at 9 a.m., followed by a funeral Mass at 11 a.m. Father Donn Heiar will officiate. Graveside services will be private. Some of Carole’s beliefs and her way of life are best described by the following excerpts from Max Ehrmann’s Desiderata. “Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence As far as possible, without surrender; be on good terms with all persons Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be And whatever labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.” Joyce-Ryan Funeral Home and Cremation Services 5701 Odana Road (608) 274-1000 www.ryanfuneralservice.com

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