John R. Walsh

Posted: Wednesday, July 05, 2000

Longtime Alaskan John R. Walsh died Sunday, July 2, 2000, at Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna. He was 80.

A funeral mass will be held at 2 p.m. Friday at Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church in Kenai. Father Richard Tero will officiate. Following the mass, Mr. Walsh will be cremated and he and his wife's ashes will be inurned in Fort Richardson National Cemetery in Anchorage at a later date.

Mr. Walsh was born on June 15, 1920, in Seattle, the son of John and Edith Walsh. He lived with his family in Port Orchard, Wash., until they moved to Seattle when he was 9. He graduated from O'Dea High School in Seattle. He enrolled in the University of Washington with the intention of studying dentistry, until World War II started. He spent a total of four years in the U.S. Army as a B-17 and B-29 bomber pilot. After leaving the service, he was an airline pilot for Arnold Aviation, flying DC-3s between Seattle and Alaska.

In 1943, he married his wife, Vernita, and they moved to Anchorage in 1949. After moving to Anchorage, Mr. Walsh began working in the funeral business. He worked in the funeral business in Anchorage, Seward and Kenai, retiring in 1976.

Mr. Walsh liked to fly, hunt, fish and travel. He was a member of the American Legion, Pioneers of Alaska, lifetime member of the Elks Lodge and the 92nd Bombardment Group Memorial Society. During his military service, he was awarded four air medals and two distinguished flying crosses.

His friend said, "John will always be remembered for his sense of humor."

Mr. Walsh was preceded in death by Vernita, his wife of 54 years, in 1997.

He is survived by his sister and brother-in-law, Mary and Rolly Heiser of Yakima, Wash.; and brother-in-law and sister-in-law Richard and Marie Ried of Gig Harbor, Wash.

Memorials may be made the charity of choice or a memorial mass to the church.

Arrangements were made by Peninsula Memorial Chapel.

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