Joan 'Joanie' (McAuliffe) Walsh

June 10, 2022

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             Joanie (McAuliffe) Walsh, of Watertown & Island Falls ME, passed away on Friday June 10, 2022. Beloved wife of the late Lt. Edward J. Walsh, Sr. (ret. WFD) Loving mother of Kathy Malone & her husband Bob (ret. WFD), she is predeceased by her cherished sons Lt. Edward J. Walsh, Jr. (LODD Boston FD), Michael T. Walsh and she is survived by Ed’s wife Kristen. Her adored brother Joe and sister in law Sue McAuliffe.  She was the loving “Grandma Joanie” to her beautiful grandchildren Dillon, Robert, Morgan, Griffin, and Carolyn and their family dogs, Django and Lucky.

                 Joanie was the proud daughter of  “Marie” Mary Alice Donahue and “Mac” Florence Joseph McAuliffe and grew up in Wakefield, MA. She loved being the sister of John and Joseph. She graduated from Wakefield Memorial High School and followed her father’s educational path by becoming a Boston College Eagle, earning her Bachelor’s degree in Education as part of the Class of 1966.  At Boston College, she made many lifelong friends whom she looked forward to seeing at their annual get together or connecting with on the phone and, in later years, through social media.

                 After college she began her teaching career.  This career choice led her to meet the love of her life, Ed, whom she met by attending a party that was hosted by a colleague.  The two hit it off and were soon married.  Joanie was “forced” into retirement - as she liked to say - upon the birth of her daughter, Kathleen. The  young family settled back in Ed’s hometown of Watertown.  Soon after, their son Edward was born.  Joanie was lucky to be able to stay home and raise their children while Ed was a Watertown Firefighter and worked side jobs to make ends meet. It was important to Joanie to travel back to Wakefield  to visit her parents each week with her children and talk to her Mom on the phone nightly.  The couple were amazing parents that deeply loved and cared for their children; both Ed and Joan stressed the importance of family and friends with their children.  Sundays were dedicated family days and in early years Sunday dinners were held at Ed’s parents Nana and Grandpa Walsh’s or back to Joanie’s folks, Grandpa and Grandma McAuliffe.

                Joanie went back to teaching after the birth of her son Michael and was fiercely dedicated to supporting her students. She worked for the Watertown Public Schools from the late 1970’s until 2009 when she retired to take care of her grandson, Robert.

                 Education and a strong work ethic were immensely important to Joanie and Ed. They modeled this to their children and supported them in any way they could. Ed and Joanie were blessed to be married for almost 32 years when she lost him suddenly in May of 2000. 

              Joanie was fortunate to travel to Island Falls, Maine each year of her life with family to her father’s summer business, Camp Roosevelt on Pleasant Lake, Island Falls, Maine, where Joanie had many dear lifelong friends with whom she looked forward to reconnecting each year.  She was able to bring her family there each year and they too have made many lifelong connections.  Pleasant Lake brought a renewing spirit to Joanie's life that sustained her through the toughest times.

                She loved sharing stories of her childhood and life experiences with family and friends.  She honored those she lost by keeping them present in her life through memories and connections. Folks could carry on Joanie’s legacy by sharing her love of family by carrying on stories to their families as she did.

               Joanie is survived by an extensive and loving family, including her sisters-in-law Marie Walsh of Lexington, Mary McCaffrey of Watertown, Peggy Walsh of Watertown, and Carol Walsh of Rhode Island, and her brother-in-law Jim Walsh of Georgia. Her nephews and nieces: Brian, Lauren, and Timothy McAuliffe,  Kerin Derosier, William Walsh, IV, Karen Buschini, Diane Fucci, Kevin Walsh, Elaine Conley, Thomas Walsh, Margaret D'Entremont, Laura Gaspa, Joseph Walsh, Jennifer Walsh, Jacqueline Young, Robert, Paul, and Matthew McCaffrey, Andrew and Daniel Walsh, as well as, their children.

                  In addition to her parents, husband and sons, Joanie was predeceased by her brother John William McAuliffe, brothers-in-law Robert T. McCaffrey, William F. Walsh, III, Thomas L. Walsh, Robert Walsh and her sister-in-law Mary Jane Walsh. 

                Family and friends are welcome to come celebrate Joanie’s life by gathering in the Nardone Funeral Home 373 Main St. Watertown for visiting hours on Tuesday from 4-7 PM and again on Wednesday at 9 AM followed by a 10 AM Funeral Mass in St. Patrick’s Church, 212 Main St. Watertown. Burial in St. Patrick’s Cemetery., MA 02472.


Following the burial at the cemetery the family wishes to invite everyone to a coalition at the Ancient Order of Hibernians Division 14, 151 Watertown Street, Watertown, MA 02472  617-924-9541

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the Lt. Paul J. Sullivan Scholarship, P.O. Box 95, Watertown, MA 02472 or the Ed Walsh Foundation 1834 Centre Street PO Box  #320688, West Roxbury, MA 02132.

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