Edward J. Walsh, Sr., 89, of Narragansett, formerly of Edgewood passed away peacefully in his sleep on March 11, 2014 at home. He was the beloved husband of Hope L. (Mooney) Walsh for 66 years.
Born in Providence, he was a son of the late Joseph H. and Marcella (Powell) Walsh. Edward graduated St. Paul’s School in Edgewood class of 1938. In January of 1942 during his senior year Edward left LaSalle Academy to join the Paratroopers (Easy) Company of the 501st P.I.R. of the 101st Airborne Screaming Eagles. At midnight on D-Day June 6th Walsh jumped into France launching the Normandy Invasion. The 101st Airborne’s mission to destroy bridges in support of that morning’s massive amphibious beach landing. The Providence Journal quoted Walsh “The plane rocked like a boat in an angry sea. All hell turned loose. The sky was alive with tracer bullets and anti-aircraft fire. It was like jumping into a pit of fire.”
The second jump was in Holland for Operation Market Garden in September. In December Walsh fought in Belgium during the Battle of the Bulge. In a snow covered Ardennes Forest a German sniper pierced Walsh’s head. He spent months in an English Hospital and then transferred to an Atlantic City Hospital. Surgeons inserted a metal plate to cover the hole in his skull. His right side remained permanently paralyzed. He was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart for heroic actions. He received his jump wings, 2 battle stars, combat infantry badge and spearhead device for D Day. He belonged to the DAV Chapter 10 in Cranston. Edward worked for J.J. Crimmings and RI Dental for many years, volunteered at Meeting Street School, a longtime member of Bonnet Shores Beach Club, and a communicant of St. Paul’s Church, Edgewood.
Besides his wife he is survived by his three daughters, Carolyn H. Tinkham and her husband, Todd of Edgewood, Deborah A. Walsh-Kane and her husband, Alan of Attleboro, Massachusetts, Barbara A. Walsh Egan and her husband, Stephen of Warwick, three sons Edward J. Walsh, Jr. and his wife, Ilona of Castro Valley, California, Michael T. Walsh of Edgewood, and Joseph K. Walsh and his wife, Paige of North Kingstown; fifteen grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. He was the brother of the late John Walsh and Dr. Joseph H. Walsh D.O.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend a Mass of Christian Burial on Saturday at 9:00 a.m. in St. Veronica Chapel, 1035 Boston Neck Road, Narragansett. Burial with Military Honors will be in Rhode Island Veterans Cemetery, Exeter. Visiting hours Friday 4-7 p.m. in the Nardolillo Funeral Home, South County Chapel, 1111 Boston Neck Road, Narragansett.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Cornerstone School, 665 Dyer Avenue, Cranston, RI 02920.Visit www.nardolillo.com for online condolences.