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Judge Daniel F. Walsh

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Daniel Francis Walsh, 91, died on February 19, 2022, at his home in Savannah, Georgia. 

Judge Walsh was born on October 28, 1930, in Detroit, Michigan to Francis and Eileen Walsh. He was the third of five children and preceded by all in death. He is also predeceased by a granddaughter, Mary-Katherine Sogan Bauer and step-grandson, Joshua Lee LaCrosse. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Carol, six children, Michael (Linda), Elizabeth (David), Patricia (William), Thomas (Kerri), Timothy (Erin), and William (Ninette), foster daughter Susan, 15 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. 

Judge Walsh was educated at Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit, Michigan, and graduated second in his class in 1952. He pursued graduate studies in theology and canon law at St. John’s Provincial Seminary in Plymouth, Michigan. Then, after opting not to be ordained, obtained his Juris Doctor from the University of Detroit in 1958, where he was inducted in Alpha Sigma Nu, the National Jesuit Honor Society. While in seminary he began a lifelong association with Camp Sancta Maria as a camper, counselor, head counselor, and longtime board member.

Judge Walsh ascended to the judiciary in 1969, serving as a judge on the 87th Judicial District of Michigan and the 46th Judicial Circuit of Michigan. He then served as a judge on the Michigan Court of Appeals from 1975 to 1988. As State Court Administrator, he was requested by the Supreme Court in 1983 to temporarily take over the administration of the State trial courts and devise procedures to improve the Michigan court systems. His venerable reputation was such that following Justice Antonin Scalia’s appointment to the Supreme Court in 1986, Judge Walsh was asked by the United States Attorney General’s office to submit himself for consideration to replace Justice Scalia on the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. 

In addition to his many professional associations and activities, which included memberships on the Michigan Judges Association Executive Committee, the State Bar of Michigan Judicial Conference, and Michigan Judicial Council, Judge Walsh was also a prolific and devoted civic servant. He was most particularly involved with the Catholic church and Catholic education in the state of Michigan. He was a member of the Diocesan Board of Education in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and president of the Board of Christian Education and St. Mary’s School Board in Gaylord, Michigan. He was also deeply involved with Otsego Memorial Hospital, serving as president of the board of directors and senior vice president of the Otsego Memorial Hospital Foundation.

Judge Walsh retired early from an auspicious career at age 58, choosing instead to devote his time to his cherished wife Carol, his children, and grandchildren. The Walshes began spending time in their beloved Savannah, Georgia in 1989, where he continued to support his family and causes. 

A public servant and pillar of the community for all his life, Judge Walsh was recognized for his distinguished judicial career and civic-mindedness. Among his family, he is remembered for his wisdom, steadfast moral code, and most of all his warmth, generosity, and playfulness. He applied the same thoughtful diligence to his many hobbies and interests as to every other area of his life. As an avid cyclist, he rode his bicycle up to 30 miles every morning. As a Disney fan, visits to Walt Disney World became an annual pilgrimage. As a sailor and golfer, he appreciated the outdoors with the fervor of a transcendentalist, turning to nature to, “expand my soul.” He was a lover of classic movies and Irish folk songs, spaghetti with marinara, and vanilla ice cream with hot fudge. To his children and grandchildren, he imparted his guiding principles of humility, duty, and altruism and they continue to be always guided by his example.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held for Judge Walsh at St. Francis Cabrini Catholic Church, 11500 Middleground Road, Savannah, Georgia at 11 o’clock in the morning, Saturday, February 26th, 2022.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Alzheimer’s Foundation by visiting alz.org.

13 comments on “Judge Daniel F. Walsh”

  1. Joseph and Marie Prebenda

    Aunt Carol and Family, Very sorry to hear about Uncle Dan. I have 55 years years of knowing him. He was a great person. He will always be in our prayers. We even named our son after him.
    Love you all.
    Joe, Marie, and Daniel

  2. Our prayers for the family. We both thought so highly of Dan as he always had a smile, friendly comments, and fun stories to share. God bless.
    Sherry and Doug

  3. Tim & Jodie Samkowiak

    To all the Walsh Family,
    We are so very sorry for your loss. Judge Walsh was a remarkable man. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time.

  4. Judge Walsh’s family, the good lord created one of the best men possible, a very caring and loving man. He will be missed by more than he knows, my prayers will always be with him!!

  5. E. Patrick Murray

    Dear Carol and family,
    I can’t tell you how sorry we feel for your loss. I will always remember how warmly you and Dan welcomed our family to Gaylord early in my law career. Deb and I have you in our prayers.
    Debra and Pat Murray.

  6. What a legacy he left behind in Gaylord over the years. Kind to a fault. The new guard could pattern his lead! I waited on him, Bill Porter, and others at the Old Holiday Inn. Trees will be planted in his honor,

  7. My deepest condolences for the loss of such a wonderful man and jurist. I met “Uncle Dan” as a young girl when I was an honorary Galvin kid. I am so impressed by his accomplishments, but I only knew him as the really nice man that he was, “Uncle Dan”. Judge Kirsten Nielsen Hartig

  8. Marlene Czarkowski

    As a student at Gaylord St. Mary in the 1970s, Judge Walsh had a prominent presence in the community. He appeared to be a man of wisdom and great leadership. He had an impressive educational background.
    With sympathy.

  9. Wayne Wyrembelski

    Carol and family, we are so very sorry to hear about Dan’s passing. We have fond memories from your Gaylord years. May your many, many good memories sustain you in this time of loss.
    Wayne & Sharon Wyrembelski

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