MIDDLEBURY — Our beloved Timothy Charles Walsh was called home on Thursday, Sept. 10, 2020, after a three-year battle with colon cancer. Tim was a loving and faithful husband to Jill Walsh, his wife of 13 years, and he was a supportive and inspirational father to his daughters, Keela and Shaelyn.
Tim was born on Sept. 12, 1969, in Waterbury, and was the treasured son of Jane Walsh and the late Timothy H. Walsh. He attended Naugatuck Public Schools with his sisters, Deborah Rutigliano and Christine Walsh, and he swam for the Thunderfish and the Greyhounds throughout his childhood and teenage years. After graduating from NHS in 1988, Tim attended Gettysburg College and swam competitively there for four years; he was appointed captain of the Gettysburg swim team for both his junior and senior years of college. Tim was a member of three Middle Atlantic Conference championship teams, and a member of the 800 free relay team that held the Gettysburg College record. In addition to his bachelor’s degree from Gettysburg, Tim earned his master’s degree from Quinnipiac University. He was a skilled and dedicated high school history teacher who taught at his alma mater for 24 years, and Tim will be greatly missed by colleagues and students alike.
Tim’s smile and sense of humor were irresistible, and he lived life with a spirit and optimism that attracted and impressed everyone who met him. He had a tight knit group of friends whom he enjoyed spending time with. Whether it was prepping for the big Thanksgiving Day game with “kegs and eggs,” the infamous trips to NYC, days spent making horseradish or egg nog, or their Thursday afternoon ritual, Tim’s friendships were second only to family. He also liked his down time in the “man cave” watching his Boston Red Sox or Washington Redskins.
Tim was an adventurer who enjoyed hiking, cycling, kayaking, travelling and scuba diving. He embarked on solo backpacking trips in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, cycling trips in Europe and the U.K., and scuba diving adventures in the Great Lakes. Tim’s greatest and deepest dive was 165 feet below to the shipwrecks of Scapa Flow in Scotland, where he explored five different WWI battleships over the course of one week. Tim was also very proud of his cycling trip over the Central Alps from Italy to Austria at 7,000 feet. He loved travelling the world and visiting other countries like Italy, France, Portugal, Iceland, Ireland, Germany and Switzerland. These were all exciting journeys, but Tim’s favorite trips were the “Walsh Family Circus” vacations with his loved ones. Family always came first in Tim’s life and he cherished the time spent with his parents, sisters, brothers-in-law, and his niece and nephews.
Tim also rejoiced in volunteering and raising money for charities. For many years Tim volunteered to prepare and cook Christmas dinner at St. Michael’s Church in Naugatuck so that those who were struggling would have a warm and delicious meal on that special holiday. Tim was an amazing cook who didn’t follow recipes, but instead cooked with intuition and love. Besides volunteering, Tim also swam “The Great Chesapeake Bay Swim” several times throughout his life. This 4.4-mile swim across Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay is a fundraiser for the March of Dimes, and an event that requires training, endurance and perseverance. Tim placed third in his age group in both 2004 and 2010. Tim was also presented with a “10 Times Finisher” award for the Bay Swim in 2012. Even 24 hours before his passing, Tim was putting others before himself in requesting donations to St. Jude Children’s Hospital as his birthday wish for 2020.
Tim’s stage 4 colon cancer diagnosis in 2017 didn’t slow him down or break his spirit. He worked full time, snowboarded with his girls, rode 40 miles in the 2017 Closer to Free ride with “Team Walsh,” and continued to enjoy family trips to OBX, Vermont and Block Island. Everyone who knew Tim loved and admired him, and his death is a great loss for the Naugatuck community, for his friends and family, and for all who knew him. His entire family and his wife and two beautiful daughters are shattered by his death, but they also know they are blessed to have had such a strong, brave and caring man in their lives. And as Tim told his girls before he died, he and his energy will always be with them and within them, guiding them and supporting them as they grapple their way through life.
Calling hours will be on Friday, Sept. 18, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Buckmiller Thurston Mengacci Funeral Home, 82 Fairview Ave., Naugatuck. The funeral and celebration of life will be at the Fieldside Pavilion at Quassy Amusement Park, 2132 Middlebury Road, Middlebury, at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 19, (arrival/parking will begin at 10 a.m.). Masks and social distancing will be required.
Tim’s burial will be a private ceremony for the family.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made in Tim’s name to St. Jude Children’s Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.
To leave an online condolence, visit www.buckmillerthurstonmengacci.com.