CUMBERLAND — Deacon James Thomas Walsh Jr., 77, of Cumberland, Rhode Island, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, June 29, 2021, with his wife, Diana, and three daughters, Janet, Cheryl and Jennifer by his side.
Jim was born on February 14, 1944, in Boston, Massachusetts, the fourth of six children. He was the son of the late Dr. James T. Walsh and Dr. Phyllis Walsh and was stepson to the deceased Daniel Sullivan. A Pawtucket native, he graduated from St. Raphael Academy, then earned his Bachelor of Science from the University of Rhode Island. His first job was with Pfizer, but since he was always an entrepreneur at heart, he bought Taylor Rental Center in Cumberland, Rhode Island in 1976. Jim loved being a resident of Cumberland and was involved in many leadership roles for various organizations including the Sons of Irish Kings, Cumberland Beagle Club, the Knights of Columbus, Saint Thomas Council, Cumberland/Lincoln Rotary, the Cumberland Business Association and many other organizations. Giving back to the community was important to Jim as he wanted to make it a place where families could feel safe and thrive.
In 1998 Jim earned his master’s degree from Providence College and was ordained a permanent deacon on October 10, 1998, by Bishop Robert E. Mulvee at the Cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul in Providence. In everything Jim did he was an exemplary man of God, and a family man. As a deacon, he helped many others find their home in the Church, teaching classes for candidates, officiating at countless baptisms and weddings, bringing the Eucharist to the sick, and talking endless hours on the phone listening to and helping to encourage those in need. He gained so much joy in helping others and sharing his love of the Lord.
His other love was his family. When not working or serving the Lord, Jim loved to travel with his wife and family. He was a very devoted husband, father and grandfather. He treasured any time spent with his family, but he especially loved the weeklong summer vacations where his whole family was under one roof. His happiest moments were being surrounded by his wife, three daughters, sons-in-law and five grandkids, as well as their many cats and dogs.
Besides the love of his life, Diana, who he was married to for 53 years, he is survived by his three daughters’ families: Janet Patrone, her late husband Vincent and son Rafe of North Providence; Cheryl Murray, her spouse Stephen and their two children Madison and Shawn of Cumberland; and Jennifer Fonseca and her spouse, Ben, and their two children, Isabella and Sophia, of North Attleboro, Massachusetts.
Jim was the brother of Mary Gauthier of Providence; Jane Hart and her deceased husband Ted Hart of North Attleboro, Massachusetts; Larry Walsh and his wife, Gail, of Centreville, Massachusetts; and Phil Walsh and his wife Maureen of East Weymouth, Massachusetts. He was predeceased by his sister, Joan Trelease. He also leaves behind many nieces and nephews, cousins and friends.
A concelebrated Mass of Christian Burial was held on July 3 at St. Joseph Church, with burial following at Resurrection Cemetery, Cumberland.