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Margaret Ann Walsh

Published On: Mar 10 2013 06:30:01 AM CDT
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MADISON/CROSS PLAINS – Margaret Ann Walsh, age 64, died at her home on Sunday, March 3, 2013, following years of a spirited battle with Parkinson’s disease. Margaret passed away quietly in her sleep with her partner of 42 years, Isaac B. Linney, by her side.

Born September 24, 1948, in Madison, Margaret graduated from St. Francis Xavier Grade School in Cross Plains and Middleton High School before attending UW Platteville and the UW Madison where she pursued a Masters in Fine Arts. Margaret enjoyed 31 years of work at the University of Wisconsin Press where she held the position of Rights and Permissions Editor until Parkinson’s forced her to leave in 2008. Margaret’s smile, sense of humor, and unique view of life inspired everyone who knew her. As one nephew posted on Facebook, “She was an artistic soul with a heart of everlasting sunshine.”

Margaret is survived by her husband Isaac; son David (Darlene) Barnes (Birnamwood, WI); sisters Mary Walsh (Ellis) Berns (San Mateo, CA), Kate Walsh (James) Bratton (Cross Plains, WI); brothers William P. Walsh, Jr. (Shirley Weathers) (Fruitland, UT), John Walsh (Madison, WI), Michael (Beth) Walsh (Madison, WI), and Maj. Daniel J. (Elizabeth) Walsh (Eau Claire, WI); nieces Taylor Walsh (Josh) Pressley, Hannah Berns, Molly Walsh, Emily Berns, Megan Walsh, Faith Evans; nephews Beau Bratton, Cody Bratton, Johnny Walsh, Billy Walsh, Davis Walsh, Brett Evans; grandchildren Devin, Dylan, and Dane Barnes; great-nephew Mason Bratton; and very special dog friend Pally Kingman.

Margaret’s artistic gifts were obvious from her earliest years. She saw colors and images others could not. Margaret’s sense of aesthetics influenced many practical life decisions for her and those who loved her. Her style of dress, jewelry, taste in music, décor, and choice of books, movies, events, vacations, and color schemes were eclectic and uniquely colorful. Margaret’s art was very personal to her, sui generis and appreciated by all who viewed it. She gave most of her paintings as gifts to friends and family, though enjoyed showings at Survival Graphics and the Wisconsin Triennial Art Shows.

Margaret’s life defined the term “free spirit.” She lived in Aspen, San Francisco, Boston, New York City, Maine, and points between. When Margaret and Isaac finally returned to Madison they settled – where else? – on Williamson Street. Margaret loved the sense of community surrounding Willy Street and cherished the many friendships she and Isaac developed there.

In one of life’s surprises, Margaret edited photos for a Holocaust survivor’s autobiography, The 23rd Psalm. The book included the author’s account of the liberation of the Woebblin Concentration Camp by members of the 82nd Airborne – which included her father, (then) Sgt. William P. Walsh and his unit, Company C. CNN learned of the coincidence and flew the author, George Salton, to Madison for a meeting with Margaret and other members of the Walsh family. CNN ran the story on Aaron Brown’s program.

In her lifetime, Margaret enjoyed being an administrative assistant on Wall Street, a dedicated counselor at Goodwill Recreational Resource Center, and loved her work at the UW Press. She was an avid volleyball player, loved to read, and was a devotee of the NYT crossword puzzles which she answered in ink.

Margaret was preceded in death by her parents, William P. and Margaret Kalscheur Walsh of Cross Plains, Wisconsin. The Walsh family will always remember the extraordinary care and love both Margaret and Kate provided through our parents’ later years.

Margaret’s family is especially appreciative of the care provided by Nancy Ninman, NP; Jodi Janczewski, PT; Laura Butan-Dent, MD; as well as Steve and others at UW Health. These professionals saw through the limitations of Parkinson’s, treating and encouraging the Margaret trapped within.

The family will hold a celebration of Margaret’s life on Thursday, May 23, 2013 at Orchard Ridge United Church of Christ, 1501 Gilbert Road, Madison, Wisconsin, from 4 to 8 pm. An “Irish wake” will follow at John’s home.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Michael J. Fox Foundation at www.michaeljfox.org or the Dane County Humane Society at www.giveshelter.org.

Memorials:
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Michael J. Fox Foundation at www.michaeljfox.org or the Dane County Humane Society at www.giveshelter.org.

Service:
The family will hold a celebration of Margaret’s life on Thursday, May 23, 2013 at Orchard Ridge United Church of Christ, 1501 Gilbert Road, Madison, Wisconsin, from 4 to 8 pm. An “Irish wake” will follow at John’s home.

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