Obiturary: William Walsh, philanthropist, 83 | November 27, 2013 | Almanac | Almanac Online |


Community - November 27, 2013

Obiturary: William Walsh, philanthropist, 83

William Desmond Walsh, a longtime resident of Atherton, died Nov. 16 at Stanford Hospital. He was 83.

Mr. Walsh, who his family describes as "a man of singular generosity," was a business leader and philanthropist who with his late wife, Jane, hosted the Vintage Affaire fundraiser for the Vista Center in their home for many years.

Born in New York, Mr. Walsh graduated from Fordham University in 1951 and from Harvard Law School in 1955. He began his career as an assistant United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, according to his family, who noted that his work contributed to the prosecution of organized-crime figures such as crime boss Vito Genovese.

Mr. Walsh joined Arcata Corp. after heading West, and eventually became president and CEO of that company. He later founded Sequoia Associates LLC.

Deeply committed to philanthropy, he supported many institutions and efforts, his family said. His gifts to Fordham University led to the establishment of the William D. Walsh Family Library and a classic antiquities museum. Gifts to Harvard Law School supported state-of-the-art classrooms. He and his wife were also strong supporters of the Sonoma Developmental Center, which cared for their daughter Caroline.

Mr. Walsh took a keen interest in Ireland, the country of his heritage, and he was a supporter of the American Ireland Fund, which "launched ground-breaking programs in peace and reconciliation for the new generation," his family said.

Mr. Walsh also offered his time and talent to many of the institutions he supported financially, his family noted.

He is survived by his children, Deborah Hirsch, Michael Walsh, Suzanne Tinsley, Tara Jane Arnold, and Peter Walsh; a brother, Donald G. Walsh; and 12 grandchildren. His wife of 57 years, Jane, and his daughter Caroline preceded him in death.

The memorial Mass was held Nov. 22 at St. Raymond Catholic Church. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, contributions be made in Mr. Walsh's memory to the Parents Hospital Association in support of the Sonoma Developmental Center, P.O. Box 237, Eldridge, CA 95431.


There are no comments yet for this post

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Choose a category: *

Since this is the first comment on this story a new topic will also be started in Town Square! Please choose a category that best describes this story.

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields


Meet the winners!

The results are in. Check out The Almanac readers' favorite foods, services and fun stuff in the area.

View Winners