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Obituary: Dr. Edward J. Walsh

Dr. Edward J. Walsh, who celebrated 96 birthdays, of Cooperstown, NY passed away on Friday, Aug. 14, 2009. Ed was born April 9, 1913 in Schuyler, NY, the son of the late Edward T. and Edna (Francisco) Walsh. He was educated in the Mohawk School District, Cortland State Teachers College, and received a masters and his educational doctorate at Columbia University. Ed served in the United States Navy in the South Pacific during World War II.

Always an educator, Ed was the director of health, physical education and recreation and the head football coach at the Manhasset School District where he began his career at Manhasset in 1948 reviving a football program that had sunk to its lowest depth in school history. He won his first league title in the 1950 season and thereafter added many titles. Four of his players went on to play professional football: Jim Thorpe, Steve Jordan, Vin Scott and Jim Brown. During Brown's three-year varsity career, Manhasset teams went 20-1 and Brown averaged 12.4 yards per carry.

After 30 years, he retired to be an assistant football coach at Brown University. After moving to Cooperstown, he continued to be an active member of the First Presbyterian Church, the Rotary Club and the Mohican Club.

Ed was predeceased by his wife, Thelma Rudgers, and four brothers. He is survived by a sister, Kathryn Kilgress of Herkimer, NY, his twin daughters Donna Walsh of Washington, NC and Christine Rice of Auburn, NY, a son-in-law Don Dunlap of Washington, NC and a granddaughter Jessica Rice of Washington, NC.

Always an advocate of physical fitness, Ed continued to exercise three times a week at the Clark Center and did yard work on his acre of property. Among other awards, he recently received the Distinguished Service Award from the Rotary Club of Cooperstown. He will be missed by his family, friends, former players and the community.

A funeral service was offered at 11 a.m. Friday, Aug. 21, 2009, at the First Presbyterian Church of Cooperstown with Rev. Miriam Hathaway officiating. Calling hours were at the Tillapaugh Funeral Home, Cooperstown when the family was in attendance. Committal services will be private at the convenience of the family.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Edward Walsh Scholarship Fund, c/o Cortland College Foundation, PO Box 2000, Cortland, NY 13045.