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Paul Richard Walsh

Surrounded by family in his last days, Paul Richard Walsh went to be with God on Sunday August 16th, 2020 after a long illness with Lewy Body Dementia.

Dad was born in Fountain on November 20th, 1930 to T. Richard “Dick” and Elsie Walsh. He was raised on the farm, went to country school, and graduated from Preston High in 1948. As a young man he earned a reputation as an accomplished Golden Gloves boxer with many wins.

He joined the Navy during the Korean War and when the Navy learned he could box he became a member of their team, fighting around the country, sparring with Floyd Patterson, and boxing in the Olympic Trials. He then served on the aircraft carrier the USS Lake Champlain as a Fireman and Electricians Mate. He was a proud longtime member of the Disabled American Veterans, American Legion, and the Korean War Veterans Club.

After the Navy he attended Seminary then St. Mary’s College in Winona, graduating in 1957. He worked at the State Hospital in Rochester, worked as a Probation Officer, then started his teaching career at Skyline School in Rochester.

Dad married Constance McConnell on December 28th, 1963 in Rochester.

They moved to Darrington, Washington where he taught until moving back to Minnesota to teach in Wells, and then later moved to just outside Easton. English and Literature at Wells-Easton High School were his subjects and he retired from there in 1992 after 28 years. Dad loved teaching and loved all the kids; Shakespeare was his favorite subject. He “lettered” in wrestling due to his years of support for the program at WEHS. He liked to bowl but gardening and horseshoe throwing were his real passions. Dad was a longtime member of the Legion and Color Guard in Easton and Chatfield and of the Wells Lions Club. He was part of Serra International advocating for religious vocations. He volunteered at St. Francis Church serving those in need. His faith was always a central part of his life.

In retirement Mom and Dad lived in Chatfield and Arizona then Rochester. Dad loved to write short stories and poems and published a book of poetry and poems which he loved to recite to those he knew and met. He always made people smile at every opportunity with his words & kindness. He enjoyed coffee with friends and loved being with family. He was a gentle man and we will miss him terribly.

He was preceded in death by his little boy Brian in 1969 of cancer, his parents, an infant sibling, and sister Mary Wooden. Dad is survived by his wife Connie (at Arbor Terrace in Rochester) who he cherished and adored for their nearly 57 years of marriage, sisters Jean Rayer and Margaret Lechnir, brother Joseph, daughters Barb Kirchhof and special friend Mike Bruce, Deb Rappold and husband Tony, sons Pete and wife Jill, and Mike and wife Emily. He also is survived by grandchildren Brandon and Aaron Kirchhof, Anthony, Emily and Bill Rappold, Ciara and Connor Walsh, and Haley Walsh and Brad, BJ, Ali, and Kristen Halvorson.

A special thanks to “The Thursday Men” – Gary Russell, Bobby Thorson, and Lee Carlson, and also to Denny Hagen and Rob Kottke - all were longtime friends who came and visited Dad regularly the last few years. Thanks also to the staff at Samaritan Bethany for their loving care.

The funeral Mass will be held at 1:00 p.m. Friday, August 21st, 2020 at St. Pius X Catholic Church in Rochester. Visitation will be held from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Friday. Burial will be following the Mass at Carrolton Cemetery in Fountain, MN.

Online condolence are welcome at www.mackenfuneralhome.com.

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