Thomas Joseph Walsh, lovingly referred to as Tom, Dad, Papa, Coach and Toastie-Walsh of Needham, passed away on July 21, 2021 at the age of 86. He was the devoted husband of Mary Lorraine for over 60 years, who predeceased him earlier this year.
Born in Medford on October 15, 1934, Tom was the eldest son of Nora and Anthony Walsh, who migrated from Ireland and settled and raised five children in Cambridge. Tom was the oldest brother of Stephen Walsh and Louise Innis of Pocasset, and was predeceased by his brother John Walsh and his surviving wife Barbara, of Arlington, his late sister Maureen Tennis and her husband Richard, of Arlington, and his late sister Joan O’Meara and her surviving husband Fred, of Reading.
Tom and Mary Lorraine raised 6 children; Thomas Walsh Jr. and his wife Lisa of Walpole, Kevin Walsh of Rye, NH, Dan Walsh and his wife Laura of Needham, Brian Walsh of Boston, Catherine McCarthy and her husband John of Needham, and Julie Baker and her husband Henry of Newton. He was a proud grandfather of 11 grandchildren who affectionately referred to him as Papa: DJ, Kelsey, Katlyn, Tommy, Cooper, Timmy, Maggie, Henry, McKenzie, Catherine and Johnny. He was also known as Uncle Tommy to many nieces and nephews.
Tom was a veteran of the Korean War and earned a BS and Master of Education from Boston University. Tom was a physical education teacher for many years and retired from the Needham Public School system where he also coached soccer, wrestling, and lacrosse. As a Father, Teacher and Coach, Tom believed the practice of skill development was far more important than game day itself. In fact, Tom would often go to professional sporting events early to watch teams warm up and prepare for the game to observe skill development ideas for his children and students. Tom coached various sports teams in the Walpole, Needham, Catholic Memorial and Mount Alvernia High Schools.
Tom was a huge sports fan and could always be found coaching or attending sporting events, especially ones that his children or grandchildren were playing. There is not a soccer or lacrosse field, a wrestling mat or hockey rink in New England that Tom didn’t know about and where he could be found coaching his players and children or watching his grandchildren practice, learn new skills, play sports and grow. Tom was even known to attend a dance studio on occasion to observe and support Irish Step Dance Recitals for his two lovely daughters or to watch a cheerleading, ballet, play or dance performance supporting his cherished granddaughters.
Tom and Mary Lorraine will be missed beyond words and the world is a better and more opportunistic place for having them train and educate us all to love, achieve and succeed.
Tom’s family will receive friends for visitation Sunday July 25th from 4:00PM to 7:00PM at Eaton Funeral Home, Needham. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Monday July 26th at 10:00AM at St. Joseph’s Church in Needham. Tom will be laid to rest and be at peace alongside his wife at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Needham. In Lieu of flowers donations may be made in Tom’s memory to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital (www.stjude.org). To view Tom’s Mass of Christian Burial please click on this link: https://click.email.vimeo.com/u/?qs=e0a2e6ba67ef69c7a3807a34d4697d3187a728ca639a8a7ef2a0c3a14909d7d40d836d7be1cd0f66490bf00c4078d09bbbf731ad144ca4b0dfd43bbbfbf5ef62
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St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
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