Michael J. Walsh Jr., 72, of Troy, NH died on Thursday, January 6, 2022, in Cheshire Medical Center after a brief illness. He was born in Brooklyn, NY on October 28, 1949, son of Michael J. Walsh, Sr. of Lawrence, MA and Sara Maurillo Walsh of Brooklyn NY, “Mickey and Sara” who stood by him all their lives even in the difficult times.
Michael was the kind of guy who marched to his own drummer from an early age. He drove the nuns to distraction in elementary school, and he didn’t do much better with the Brothers at Xavier High School either. He functioned on another level and they only knew one way to do things, their way, or the highway. Mike took the “highway”. After dropping out of Burlington High School he joined the military at 17, the paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division and by age 18 he was on his way to Vietnam, in time for the Tet Offensive in 1967—68.
It didn’t take him long after being exposed to the horrors of war before he reached the conclusion that the US engagement there lacked moral purpose and had no legal justification. He then made the conscious decision to refuse to engage in combat. A decision that came with a great deal of backlash and far-reaching consequences, but he never backed down. The detailed account of this Vietnam experience is authored in his book, “Walsh’s War, A Very Different Path Through Vietnam”, published in 2021, Christian Faith Publishing, available on Amazon. After he was discharged, he came back home and became part of the late 60s and 70s countercultural revolution, gaining quite an education on many levels (!), again causing his family much concern.
Michael had several marriages. His first wife, Lorraine, blessed him with one beautiful daughter, Renee Hutchins of Sandown, NH., and husband Kevin who gave Michael 3 grandsons, Derek, Ryan, and Nathan. A second marriage to Laurie also blessed him with two wonderful sons, Justin Walsh, of Plymouth, NH, and Dan Walsh of Holderness, NH, both very handsome, accomplished, and talented men.
Michael was also very close to his sister, Veronica, all his life. She, her husband, Phil, and their two sons, Chris and Matt reside in New Mexico, where Michael visited nearly every year.
Michael earned a BA in Religion from Atlantic Union College, Lancaster, MA in 1981. He was number 1 in his class at Clark University, Worcester, MA where he earned his MA in 1985. He finished his formal education by receiving his Doctorate in Juris Prudence from Boston College Law School, Newton, MA in 1991. He was a member of the Massachusetts Bar Association.
He engaged in debates and wrote arguments for or against various political and moral issues. He even gave a presentation before the Second U.S. Court of Appeals in NYC.
Michael was a real Renaissance man, with many interests, and a broad base of knowledge, his competence,s, and energy seemingly boundless. In addition to practicing law, he spent part of his work life working as a mason and was a masonry contractor. At one point in his life, he did missionary work in Bolivia and may have acquired those skills there helping to build a church.
Mike loved spending time with his family and friends. Gathering his kids and grandkids for a meal together, or a hike, a trip to the beach, deep-sea fishing, and a visit to the speedway was his joy. He had a small farm and engaged them in feeding the sheep and chickens, tapping for maple syrup and turkey hunting and target shooting. He loved swimming, rowing, and canoeing on nearby lakes, and downhill and cross-country skiing.
Michael also married, Sydney, and together they were involved in the music ministry of Cross Rock. Mike played blues harp, flute, vocals, and Sydney sang. They also enjoyed worldwide travel together. Mike also belonged to a couple of other groups, The Team, and Shikana Glory.
Michael made time for everything and everyone, making lasting memories; his specialty. Michael was very interested in politics, he campaigned for Ron Paul, (Campaign for Liberty) and became a candidate for Cheshire County House of Representatives in 2012. He was also active in Keene and Troy community service.
He was an active member of RiseupNH a group of individuals with diverse political, religious, and professional backgrounds which were formed to inspire collective action to protect health freedom and personal sovereignty. He co-hosted a learning group with Rebecca Montrone, of Wondrous Roots, who became a close friend.
Throughout his life, Michael had a deep relationship with God. It was the driving force behind him. He was well-versed in Scripture which was the foundation of his beliefs. He belonged to various denominations over time, ending his life as a member of Christian Life Fellowship in Swanzey, NH where he formed many special friendships.
You can’t talk about Michael without mentioning his great sense of humor. He had people laughing often with his slapstick antics, appearing suddenly in all kinds of crazy costumes, not to mention the hilarious things he would say. He brought laughter and joy to all, as well as some wisdom and truth.
A special thank you and recognition goes out to Mike’s good friends Tom Carroll, Darryl Lady, and Brenda Basillio who were with Michael when he became ill. They loved and cared for him over the weeks of his illness until his admission to hospital, including Chief David Ellis of the Troy Police who checked in on Mike regularly. They had the patience of saints. God bless them all.
A Memorial/Celebration of Michael’s life will be held on Saturday, April 9, 2022, at 10 am. in the Christian Life Fellowship Church, 211 Whitcolm Rd. Swanzey, NH. 03446.
The following is a favorite song of Michael’s which he recently sent to his sister, Veronica.
“Soon we’ll come to the end of life’s journey
And perhaps we’ll never meet anymore
‘Till we gather in heaven’s bright city
Far away on that beautiful shore”