Gerald V. Walsh

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FARMINGTON – It is with great sadness that the family of Gerald V. Walsh announces the passing of this very special person. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle and cared for his family dearly. Gerald, who was 89, passed away at the Sandy River Living Center on April 12, with his family by his side. He fought the fight of fights valiantly against his personal enemy, a brain tumor, all the while keeping his great sense of humor.

Gerald “Jerry” was born in Topsham, on June 14, 1916. His parents were William G. and Mabelle (Carey) Walsh; and he and his family moved to Jay about 1921. Jerry attended the schools in Jay and graduated in the Class of 1935. While he was in school, he was very active in the sports of baseball and basketball; but also enjoyed three act plays. Even after finishing high school, his love of sports and adventure continued as he was a member of the motorcycle club, “Phantom Riders,” the basketball team, “Jay Outlaws,” and the town team for baseball.

After high school, he went to work at Latham’s Service Station. He worked part time at the station while attending Bliss College in Lewiston, where once again he was active in the sport of basketball. He attended college from 1937 to 1938.

On June 29, 1940, he married his sweetheart, Virginia A. Latham, at an evening wedding that took place at the home of Maurice F. Latham in Jay.

He worked at Latham’s Service Station from 1938 to the outbreak of World War II, also went to work at International Paper from 1940 to 1943. On December 29, 1943, he was drafted into the Armed Services, serving in the Army. He was in the 75th Division, 898th Field Artillery. His unit served in the European Theatre and they took part in three major battles; The Battle in the Ardennes, The Colmar Pocket Battle, and The Battle of the Ruhr. He returned home to Jay after January 15, 1946.

Upon returning home, he went back to International Paper in the time office and also worked part time at Latham’s; but all that proved to be too much and he left I.P.Co. to work full time for his father-in-law at Latham’s. After the passing of his father-in-law in 1955, he and Virginia operated the business until 1978, as that’s when he and his son, William “Chum” ran the local friendly establishment frequented by many down on “The Flat” until 1991. He was a real people person and had a story or joke for those that came through the door.

As a member of the Mt. Rockemeka Grange, he created many smiles and much laughing when he was acting in plays or serving on the cleanup committee down in the kitchen. He was also a member of the Jay Baptist Church.

He not only served his country, but he also became a legend in his own time with his civic duties for the town of Jay. He served on the Board of Selectmen from 1946 to 1950. In 1958, he became superintendent and one of the trustees of the Jay Water District until 1985. He could tell you many stories about the progress and problems of Jay, having its own water system, especially the trials and tribulations of getting the water lines over to the new international paper mill.

For many years, starting in 1955, he owned and operated pulp and gravel trucks with Harold “Hap” Davis. As if he wasn’t busy enough, he went into partnership with his brother, George, and formed the company, G & G Construction Co. Many beautiful homes in the Jay area were constructed by G & G as this company had a marvelous reputation for high quality work. In 1962, the Jay Builders Supply Co. came into being and served the area for 13 years.

Today there is a great neighborhood up on Jay Hill that G & G established in 1965. All of this new construction brought the water line to the top of Jay Hill.

The garage at his home was expanded to house one of his other endeavors – horses to train and race on the local circuit. He would say that he owned, “some good – some bad” horses.

When he retired in 1991, he took up in seriousness, another favorite sport – golf. His favorite place to play the game was at Wilson Country Club in Wilton and he achieved several holes-in-one. He would play nearly every day, in any kind of weather, until fall 2005. So many other members loved to have him on their team as he continued to play well, even at 89. If he wasn’t golfing, he’d be at Off Track Betting in Lewiston where there was a table reserved especially for him. All this activity kept him very busy!

He leaves behind with loving memories his sister, Myra Carey of Argyle; a brother, George and his wife, Diantha, of Jay; his daughter, Marlene and her husband, Ed Landus, of Jay; a son, William “Chum” Walsh and his wife, Louise, of Jay; four granddaughters who will miss their “Grampa,” Lisa Roy and her husband, Tom, of Jay, Dianne Kalb and her husband, Paul, of Wales, Tracy Jarvis and her husband, David, of Gulfport, Miss. and Wilton and Barbara Walsh and her companion, Mac Gwinn, of Bangor; great-grandchildren, Samantha Bailey, Lee Walsh and Justin Jarvis; also many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his parents; his beloved wife, Virginia; a sister, Janie De Roche; brothers, Maurice A. and David “Bud” Walsh; a brother-in-law, Harold Carey; a daughter-in-law, Judy Walsh; a grandson, Michael; a granddaughter, Kelly; and a companion, Gloria Pomeroy.

The family would like to express their heartfelt gratitude to all the loving caregivers at The Hospice House in Auburn, the many devoted people from Androscoggin Home Care and Hospice who took good care of Gerald and also the staff at Sandy River Living Center for their support and attention to Gerald’s needs and care. All this will dearly be remembered by each member of the family.

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