John Walsh, age 79, of Three Oaks, died peacefully Wednesday, December 15, 2021. His life began July 11, 1942, in Brooklyn, New York, born to Thomas and Mary Walsh.
John graduated from Holy Cross High School in New York City with highest honors. He went on to earn his bachelor’s degree, with a double major in history and mathematics, from the University of Notre Dame “Magna Cum Laude.” He went on to receive his master’s degree in mathematics from Wesleyan University in Connecticut “Magna Cum Laude”.
John enjoyed helping U.S. veterans re-entering society. He was a great resource and mentor to veterans, but his first love was teaching his students. John taught mathematics of all levels at various high schools and colleges throughout the northeastern U.S. He was the “Mr. Chips” of mathematics with a dry Irish wit and humor. For each high school where John taught, he was vice principle; always being given the position of disciplinarian. He coached freshman football and was the golf coach for the seniors.
For twenty-seven years, John was a Roman Catholic religious brother with the Congregation of Holy Cross. He was affectionately known by his family and friends as, Brother John. After John left the religious brothers, he went on to spend some time in Connecticut, having his own established business, to which he was the executive recruiter. John then moved West to Indiana, eventually settling in Fort Wayne, where he became the mathematics professor for Ivy Tech Community College. After retiring, John continued to mentor and tutor students.
Uncle John dearly loved his family and never missed a Christmas on Long Island. In 2014, John’s Alzheimer’s disease was becoming noticeable, and in April of 2015, John moved to the Alvarez homestead in Three Oaks, Michigan to be cared for by his caregiver, Curtiss. John went through all seven stages of Alzheimer’s disease in, as John called it, “the little house on the corner” of Kruger and Three Oaks Road. He so enjoyed sitting by the old apple tree and eating tomatoes from the garden. He left his house on November 27, 2021, never to return.
John will be greatly missed by family and friends. He is survived by his partner and best friend of thirty-six years, Curtiss Alvarez of Three Oaks; nieces and nephews, Maureen (Christopher) Daugherty, Aileen (Angel) Olivieri, Kathleen (Daniel) Rowe, Kevin (Barbara) Walsh, Brian (Pamela) Walsh, Mike (Christine) Walsh, Dennis (Kathy) Walsh, John Ferger, Thomas Ferger, Bryce (Karen) Daugherty, Trevor (Katrina) Daugherty, Erin (Primo) Fontana and Matt (Christine) Rosecrans; great nieces and nephews, Daniel T., Theresa, Jackie, Melissa, Devon, Michael, Meghan, Deena (Brian), Stacey (John Paul), Dennis, Shannon, Ryan, Aderyn, Keegan, Abigail, Sadie, Se Rodman, Rosalie, Justin, Patrick, Thomas, Caitlyn, Isabella; and three very close first cousins, Deirdre (Jim), Margaret (Steve), and Celia (Richard).
He was preceded in death by his parents; one brother, Thomas (Eileen) Walsh; one sister, Cecelia (Mike) Cassela; one aunt, Peggy Moore; one cousin, Buddy; and one grandnephew, Jason Riffles.
Family and friends will gather at 10:00 a.m. Thursday, January 6, 2022, in St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church, 28 West Ash Street, Three Oaks. The family will celebrate John’s life in a memorial service in Fort Wayne, Indiana and Port Jefferson, New York in the spring of 2022, at a date and time to be announced.
John’s remains will be laid to rest in Forest Lawn Cemetery, Three Oaks.
The family prefers contributions in memory of John be made to The Alzheimer’s Association, Post Office Box 96011, Washington, DC 20090-6011 or to Disabled American Veterans, Post Office Box 14301, Cincinnati, Ohio 45250-0301.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Wagner Family Funerals Pobocik Chapel, Three Oaks. Please share a memory or a message online: wagnercares.com.