Kathleen Gargano Walsh, 78, of Colts Neck, passed away Wednesday February 23rd surrounded by her loving family.
Born in Elizabeth on August 21, 1944, she was the oldest of five children. She graduated from Roselle Park High School and went on to earn a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Education from Newark State College. Kathleen spent 32 years teaching in the Edison School District before retiring in 1999.
A lifelong advocate for civil and women’s rights, Kathleen took great pride in marching with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at Selma and espoused his message of equality throughout her life. A known animal lover, especially cats and horses, Kathleen served as President of the One Fine Day cat club and sought forever homes for cats through Siamese Rescue. Kathleen was an avid outdoorswoman enjoying camping, fishing, and traveling. She served as Vice President of the Newark Bait and Fly Casting Club, taking great pride in being one of their first female members. As an educator she was a voracious reader, eager to share favorite books with her sons, nieces, nephews and, more recently, her grandchildren.
Much of Kathleen’s spare time was devoted to volunteerism and civic engagement. She was a longtime volunteer with the Boy Scouts of America (Troop 290/Pack 90), Vigil Member of the Order of the Arrow and Wood Badge recipient. In retirement she increased her community service as a member of the Colts Neck Seniors and Women’s clubs and was recognized as Colts Neck Volunteer of the Year in 2007.
Kathleen is predeceased by her parents Marjorie (Mann) and Patrick J. Gargano, and her sister, Ellen Mason. Kathleen is survived by her husband of forty years, John Edward Walsh; son and daughter-in-law John Patrick and Jillian Walsh; son Bryce Edward Walsh; grandchildren John Bradley, Brigid Penelope, and Declan Francis Walsh; her sisters Jean (Robert) Jones and Michele (Gary) Ballin; her brother Wayne (Helen) Gargano; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be held on Wednesday, March 1 from 2pm – 4pm and from 7pm – 9pm at the Holmdel Funeral Home, 26 S. Holmdel Road, Holmdel. A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered on Thursday, March 2 at 11am at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, 1 Phalanx Road, Colts Neck. Entombment will follow at Holmdel Mausoleum, Holmdel.
Memorial contributions in Kathleen’s name may be made to the Monmouth BSA Campership Fund (www.MonmouthBSA.org/camperships) or the Monmouth County SPCA (www.monmouthcountyspca.org)
For messages of condolence, or to share a favorite memory of Kathleen, please visit her tribute page at www.HolmdelFuneralHome.com.