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Maureen Anne Walsh passed away peacefully at her long time Bethel residence on Monday, April 10th, 2023 surrounded by her family and friends.
Maureen was born on February 1st, 1959 at Norwalk Hospital, close to the Walsh family home in Wilton. She was the fourth child and eldest daughter of eight children. Maureen is predeceased by her mother, Lucile (Card) Walsh, and her father, Roger V. (Bud) Walsh. She was born with Larsen Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that impacted the development of most of the bones in her body. Her parents were told she’d never walk, but she took her first steps at age four, for a sip of Pop’s beer! Maureen never stopped walking and continued to show her love of life and share that love to everyone who has come across her path.
At four years old she was gifted a doll, “Twinkle”, from her Uncle Bill and Grandma Walsh to comfort her throughout her early childhood surgeries. Twinkle developed into one of the most significant companions of her life. She always said it was her first nurse and it also ended up being one of her last. Maureen recently wrote a short story about Twinkle that was published by Memorial Sloan Kettering's Visible Ink program. Her latest literary venture included the beginnings of a novel, to be titled the “Colostomy Chronicles”, a personal view of the trials, tribulations, and rewards she experienced since her diagnosis with cancer. Surely, it would have been number one on the Bestseller List.
Maureen’s dream was to be a mother. She and her husband, Bernie (Kavall), gave life to their first daughter Sarah on May 7th 1987. Sarah unfortunately passed away at seven weeks old. The solidarity that Maureen and Bernie gained through the loss of Sarah led them to the wonderful gift of adoption. They adopted their son, Eric, in November 1990. Their family was then blessed with the addition of their daughter, Kari who came home in May 1997. Their children delivered more joy than their hearts could have ever imagined.
Throughout Maureen’s life, she consistently pursued professional growth. She always desired to do better for herself and her children. In her thirties, she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in nursing, then later achieved her dream of becoming a Registered Nurse. A decade later, despite a call from Professor Dinkmeyer saying that they lost her test results, Maureen persisted and earned her Masters in Health Care Administration. No matter where she worked she always found joy in helping others and had everyone laughing. Maureen masterfully led several teams, and was dedicated to each and every one of her employees. She was a patient advocate and believed in the health care system, as much as it challenged her.
Her Mom and Dad instilled the gift to be an enthusiastic adventurer from a very young age. When an opportunity presented itself, Maureen was the first to sign up with a hearty “Count Me In!”. There were countless camping trips with her parents, seven siblings, and family friends. Her visit to Ireland was the trip of a lifetime! She had 2 vacations in California; one was a 5-star lavish experience with her children, the other less glamorous drive up The Pacific Coast Highway with her sisters which was an unforgettable adventure where she barely escaped the mandatory head-shaving at a commune disguised as an air bnb. She traveled with Kathy & Janet for sisters’ week-ends in New Orleans, Rhode Island, Cape Cod, and Niagara Falls. She spent her last summer with her brother Sean as he battled his own cancer diagnosis.
She was always up for a fun escapade and even tried stunt driving on two wheels, where she nearly took out her brother Kevin along with the neighbor’s bushes! The beach was Maureen’s paradise and it always filled her soul. There were many trips with friends of the “Hen House” to Broadway, Wineries, Cape Cod, Rhode Island, and the Finger Lakes. Just six short months ago she had her bravest adult moment zip-lining in the mountains of Virginia with a few of her siblings, nothing ever slowed her down!
Maureen always had a song in her head and would belt out a tune at the drop of a hat. The Creedence Clearwater Revival song, “There’s a Bathroom on the Right”, was an all time favorite. Her singing was not only limited to carpool karaoke, but extended to the big stage at the Church of St. Mary in Bethel, where she brought a whole new meaning to the parasol dance in the routine of “Mame”. Girls, watch out for eyes - Maureen is in the house!
Maureen was a warrior, a champion and an inspiration. The world is a better place because she was in it sharing her joy, laughter and love for life with us all. It’s hard to know what to do when someone so incredible leaves this world. One thing we can all do is keep her legacy and love alive. The words that she lived by were consistently always: “Treat others the way you wanted to be treated, no matter what”. Please always remember:…#BeAMaureen!
Aside from her parents and daughter, Maureen is predeceased by her brother Sean Walsh of Wickford, RI. Maureen is survived by her son Eric Kavall (Erin Richmond) of Roxbury, CT; daughter Kari Kavall of Bethel, CT; brothers Roger Walsh (Dianne), Daniel Walsh (Melissa) of Bethel, CT, Gerard Walsh (Karolein) of Pulowski, VA, Kevin Walsh (Nancy) of Johns Island, SC, her sister Kathleen Walsh (Mario Marin) of Southbury, CT, sister-in-law Holly Walsh of Wickford, RI and sister Janet Walsh of Bethel, CT, as well as 13 nieces/nephews and several grand nieces/nephews.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and be sure to include the hashtag #BeAMaureen
To learn more about the Visible Ink program or to get a copy of the book, giving.mskcc.org/visible-ink.
Donate to Memorial Sloan Kettering: https://secure2.convio.net/mskcc/site/Donation2?idb=524825692&df_id=18352&mfc_pref=T&18352.donation=form1